Daniel Hernandez gets letters

Shades of Brown in the LA Weekly was Daniel Hernandez's take on the relationship between the Times (his former employer) and its Latino staffers as well as the city's largest ethnic cohort. On the Weekly's letters page, ex-Times reporter Henry Mendoza gives a thumbs up — "best examination I have ever seen on the topic" — while current LAT staffer Sam Quinones offers to enliven the discussion with some nuance.

First, it’s likely that in the United States there’s no more important training ground for minority journalists, within them Latino, than the L.A. Times’ METPRO program. This is the program wherein the L.A. Times trains young minority journalists for 10 months at the paper, then has them do longer stints at sister papers, often resulting in a full-time, permanent job.

Through METPRO’s more than two decades in existence, I’d bet the L.A. Times has done more to train minority journalists than many journalism schools, and thus is a main engine of change in journalism nationwide.....

Regarding the use of “Latino,” I’d say that it is occasionally improperly used in the paper. But in most instances, it is the only reasonable term available. When you’re talking about all the different Spanish-speaking nationalities represented in the L.A. region, which is often the case in stories we do, then “Latino” is the only accurate term to describe them, certainly preferable to “Hispanic.”

Doug Lasken of Woodland Hills also complains about the use of Anglo as a term for white. Last week, former Times editor Frank Sotomayor critiqued the Hernandez story here at LA Observed. Hernandez follows all the action at his blog.

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