Media Cop-Out: News Outlets Are Badly Serving Hispanic Audiences

A snapshot look at the Hispanic community in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, suggests that Hispanic audiences there are being greatly underserved by media outlets. 

Hispanic residents in the area rely largely on social media for news, followed by television and websites, according to a Poynter report by Chloe Nguyen.

These consumers still largely trust such traditional news sources as websites, newspapers, television. But problems like inadequate translation may drive them to use social media. 

“Sparse translation, coupled with inadequate representation, creates barriers to news access and may drive distrust in English-language news organizations for Hispanics,” Nguyen writes. When done at all, translation is “often sensationalist and inaccurate.”   

The survey is limited, both geographically and in its tiny sample size. But it comports with larger studies on the subject. 



As one respondent states, “The American media does little to address the realities that affect Hispanic families. There is not enough translation and, sadly, many attempts lack quality because they translate very poorly and I end up uninformed.”

Then there is the lack of holistic representation. Hispanic readers feel that “local English-language coverage often overemphasizes immigration and crime in their coverage of Hispanic communities, rather than covering community achievements and businesses, for example,” the report continues. 

The takeaway is that “English local news content and fact-checking by North Carolina outlets are failing to reach portions of the local community. Given that mis- and disinformation proliferate on social media often used by Hispanics for news, it is especially important that these organizations work to make their content visible and accessible to these communities.” 


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