MIAMI, Florida – March 17, 2015 – (HISPANICIZE WIRE) — Hispanic journalists continue to struggle financially as they search for their new home in a constantly and dramatically changing media world.

And you can bet they will tweet about it.

Those are two of the most significant findings of the 2015 State of Hispanic Journalists Report, which surveyed 260 Latino journalists who work in print, TV, radio, online media and blogging in the United States and Puerto Rico. The results of the survey, conducted between February and March, were released today at the annual Hispanicize 2015 event.

Co-sponsored by California State University, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Florida International University and Hispanicize Wire, the second annual survey sought to gauge the perceptions of Latino journalists amid the current media landscape.

A summary of the findings are available for download here.

While 56% of the respondents said they were doing well or okay financially, the glass is half empty, as 44 percent said they were not meeting their economic goals. This could be a reflection of a growing number of independent journalists, as 60% of the respondents worked for companies and 40% were freelancers.

Other significant findings in the three-week survey completed online:

— 40% are concerned about job security

— 32% say their companies have downsized and fired people

— 35% say their news organizations are not ready to financially sustain themselves or grow

— 31% are less optimistic about their careers than when they first started

But the rate of optimism about the current and future climate of journalism for Hispanic journalists has risen slightly: 58 percent of Latino journalists (an identical percentage to last year) believe that the rise of online and social media is having a positive impact on their careers and 34% said they were more optimistic about their careers today than when they first started (a slight increase from 32 percent in last year’s survey).

The majority of Latino journalists (53%) feel their news organizations are ready to use new technology to grow despite the challenges presented by online and social media – though that number is lower than the 59% who said the same thing last year.

“I’m not surprised about the positive outlook,” said NAHJ President Mekahlo Medina. “Latinos are an ambitious and creative people. I’m confident Latino journalists will position themselves to succeed. Hard work and determination are embedded in our DNA. And the command of social media will prove to be an added feather in our caps as we forge forward.”

New questions uncover perceptual disparities

This year, the survey added new questions to assess Latino journalist perceptions regarding pay equality and professional respect compared to their non-Latino journalist counterparts, as well as whether they believed Latino journalists were making gains in journalism compared to other ethnic groups.

Dr. Dean Kazoleas and Inez Gonzalez, scholars at California State University who analyzed the data reported another significant trend in the data: Latino journalists who produce content in English gave consistently higher ratings when asked about the respect and pay Latino journalists received when compared to their non-Latino peers. These differences were substantial and were statistically significant.

“Consistently, those journalists who produce content in English gave higher ratings than those who produce bilingual or Spanish language content. These differences were about .5 on a 5 point scale and were statistically significant,” Dr. Kazoleas said.

Preferred Tools

The 2015 State of Hispanic Journalists Report also assessed Latino journalists’ perceptions and use of both traditional and newer tools in the digital and social media era.

An overwhelming majority of journalists (73%) say that they still read and use press releases as a source of information for their stories. But even more, a whopping 79%, say they use social media, not just for distribution but as a news gathering source.

And among those sources, Twitter is growing. Fifty percent of the respondents said that they used Twitter as a news gathering source, compared to 45% using it the year before. Twitter has grown more as a distribution source, with 57% of the journalists using it, compared to 46% last year.

“While we didn’t notice any radical shifts between the 2014 and 2015 on most issues, we did see a significant jump in the use of Twitter among Latino journalists,” said Cal State’s Gonzalez. “This coincides with other mainstream research we’ve seen that shows that Twitter is the most valuable social network for journalists.”
Meanwhile, Facebook use has dropped among Hispanic journalists. Only 31% use it to distribute their news, compared to 34% of respondents in 2014, and even fewer, 26% use it for gathering information, compared to 29% in 2014.

Journalists, indeed, want additional training on developing websites (49%), coding (46%) and using social media to support stories (43%) and other technologically advanced tools.

“The findings confirm what our members have been expressing anecdotally for years,” Medina said. “But now with this insight and hard data, we can create better training and development to empower Latino journalists.”

The three-week survey timed for the conference aimed to find out about Latino journalist’s perceptions regarding their careers, the economic climate of the industry, how they are treated relative to their non-Hispanic peers, the tools they use, future skill needs, and trends they believe will shape the future. Journalists reached out to were from the media lists of Hispanicize Wire and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ).

The results of the survey were presented by Cal. State Fullerton’s Dr. Dean Kazoleas and Inez Gonzalez, FIU’s Dr. Teresa Ponte and Dr. Raul Reis, as well as NAHJ President Mekahlo Medina.

About Hispanicize 2015
Now in its sixth year, Hispanicize 2015 Week (www.HispanicizeEvent.com) (#Hispz15) is the iconic, largest annual event for Latino trendsetters and newsmakers in journalism, blogging, marketing, entertainment and tech entrepreneurship. Co-chaired by Facebook’s U.S. Hispanic Head of Sales Christian Martinez and award-winning actor Luis Guzmán, Hispanicize 2015 is a production of the Hispanicize companies that include the Latina Mom Bloggers network, Being Latino, Hispanicize Wire and the Hispanic PR Blog. Hispanicize 2015 is expected to gather more than 2,100 of the nation’s most influential Latino professionals from the industries of blogging, journalism, music, marketing, film and business over five days. The event will take place in downtown Miami March 16-20, 2015. Hispanicize 2015 is a partnership of the Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA), Hispanicize and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

About 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 US, 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 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.

About the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ)
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) is dedicated to the advancement and recognition of Hispanics in the news and communications industry. NAHJ founded in 1984 also advocates for the fair and accurate representation and treatment of Hispanics in media.

About The School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University (SJMC)
The School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University (SJMC) is at the vanguard of pioneering communication programs led by a talented group of global educators and professionals. Accredited by the ACEJMC since 1991, the SJMC has a rich history of award-winning students, faculty and alumni with prestigious accolades and a strong commitment to top quality research and innovative thinking. With over 2,000 students and more than 7,000 successful alumni, the school offers 60+ graduate and undergraduate courses in advertising, broadcasting, digital media, journalism, mass communication, public relations and visual communication.

About Hispanicize Wire
Miami-based Hispanicize Wire (http://www.HispanicizeWire.com) is an innovative and economical multimedia press release wire platform tailored to serve small businesses, brands, marketing agencies and non-profit organizations.

Hispanicize Wire offers comprehensive national, state and city-specific distributions to U.S. Hispanic/Puerto Rico media, bloggers and influencers. The Latino newswire platform offers clients a wide range of budget-friendly multimedia and social media capabilities and online guaranteed placements that are priced at a fraction of what traditional wire services cost.

The Hispanicize Wire platform features a social media optimized, SEO-friendly, beautifully designed and bilingual web site that allows clients to post photos, YouTube videos, PDFs, biographies, presentations, brochures and more. Hispanicize Wire is the only Latino wire service that always includes multimedia posting as a standard feature. Hispanicize Wire is a low cost, flat-rate based service that never charges clients text overage rates.