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Hispanic Journalists Surveyed on Careers, Tech and Social Media

Responses show technology, media consolidation and language-related issues on many journalists’ minds

April 3, 2014

A national survey of Hispanic journalists released April 1 provides fresh evidence that a majority of Latino journalists want additional training in the skills needed to run multiplatform newsrooms, said Cal State Fullerton's Inez Gonzalez, director of the College of Communication's Latino Communications Initiative (LCI).

It's the first research project for the college's initiative, which launched in late 2013. The online survey is a partnership with Hispanicize Wire, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Florida International University and the CSUF Maxwell Center for International Communications and Media. Directed by Dean Kazoleas, who heads the Maxwell Center, the survey queried U.S. Latino and Puerto Rico-based journalists about prospects for their profession, as well as their use of social media and technology.

"The survey results clearly identify opportunities for additional training," Gonzalez noted, "training that will help Latino journalists speed their adaptation to multiplatform newsrooms and further embrace entrepreneurism. Cal State Fullerton's Latino Communications Initiative is proud to have led this effort to obtain Latino journalists' insights and understand their challenges and opportunities."

Gonzalez and Kazoleas presented the 2014 State of Hispanic Journalists Report at a panel April 1 at the fifth annual Hispanicize 2014 conference.

Moderated by Francisco Cortes, vice president, FoxNewsLatino.com, the panel included Raul Reiss, dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University; Hugo Balta, president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists; and Manny Ruiz, co-founder of Hispancize, and can be viewed online.  

Kazoleas told panelists that the survey's snapshot shows that Latino journalists share guarded optimism about the industry climate and their careers. They also have concerns about the training and skills needed to manage multiple communication platforms, about newsroom diversity and professional opportunities for proficient bilinguals. However Kazoleas also told the audience that there were signs of optimism guided by the entrepreneurism, citing survey results indicating that "59 percent of participants said the growth in online and social media was having a positive impact on their careers, and 54 percent said they would start their own digital content platform in the next year if it were economically viable."

Latino journalists play a vital role in 21st-century America, and the initiative reflects the college's determination to add the courses and programs in Latino-oriented communications needed to keep pace with this growing sector, Gonzalez explained.

"We're excited to be partnering in this effort with a dynamic Latino-owned media and social media brand like Hispanicize because they are at the forefront of what we as educators want to instill in our students about the new age of digital journalism, social media and content creation," she added.

"Cal State Fullerton is pleased to have played a major role in this important research," said William Briggs, dean of the College of Communications at CSUF. "The data seem to confirm the direction of our Latino Communication Initiative that the Latino journalists represent a growing industry segment eager to take advantage of the technological changes affecting the media. We want to address these challenges as opportunities."

"Our research and internship program with CSUF underscores Hispanicize's commitment to advancing the fields of journalism and social media for Latinos," said Manny Ruiz, founder of the Hispanicize companies. "Together with CSUF, we're going to generate new insights that will benefit the fields of journalism, media and communications in general."

About the College of Communications, California State University Fullerton
The College of Communications at Cal State Fullerton, with more than 3,800 students, is one of the largest and most comprehensive communications colleges in the western U.S., and ranks first in awarding communications degrees to Hispanic students in California. The college delivers an affordable and quality education to a diverse group of students. The college's three departments — Communications, Human Communication Studies and Radio-TV-Film — feature accomplished faculty members and researchers. Through a talented student population, an alumni network of 26,000 and practical industry partnerships, the college prepares graduates who fuel the communications workforce of our region and beyond.

Media Contacts:

Inez Gonzalez, 657-278-2826 or 213-598-6622

Kathy Pomykata, 657-278-2628

Tags:  Academics & ResearchCampus Updates