Inclusion Initiative & the impact of Stereotyping
Annenberg Inclusion Initiative
I’ve been thinking about the recent study from the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative that found a significant absence of Latinx characters in Netflix programming. The internal study found that only 4.5% of main cast members were Latinx.
Stereotyping in the Media
This was part of the reason why I started putting less energy into acting. During my senior year of undergrad, I spent a lot of time going through casting calls. I spent hours scrolling from page to page only to find very few Latino roles, and the ones that were there had character descriptions that showed they were casting for a “criminal” or “gang member” role. While that is a more extreme example seeped into stereotypes, I found that the root of it was that the producers and filmmakers only saw Latino characters fitting in one box that they saw represented the community. Rarely, if ever, would I see a Latino leading role in a romantic comedy, coming of age film, etc.
How that impacts our reporting
I mention this because I think this experience can provide insight into how we approach reporting and sourcing. Diversifying our stories does not only entail reporting on a specific culture or community. This is great, but there’s more we can do than just write about the community itself to diversify our sourcing. As with film and TV, it isn’t just about making films about their identity, it is about incorporating diverse characters into any project.
Diversifying our stories does not only entail reporting on a specific culture or community. This is great, but there’s more we can do than just write about the community itself to diversify our sourcing.
If you are working on a story about a new building or fun initiative on campus, think about incorporating a large range of voices. These voices shouldn’t be reserved only for a specific section of the news. They should be welcomed everywhere in our coverage.