KPCC asks “Are you #LatinoEnough?”, sparks newsroom-spanning content

Annie Anderson
Engagement and Inclusion Manager
Public Insight Network

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of posts about inclusive journalism — journalism that is done with communities not for communities.  |  Follow the conversation here.


Ashley Alvarado, public engagement editor at SCPR, has been using the PIN to hear experiences and perspectives from communities often missed by public media.

Ashley Alvarado, public engagement editor at SCPR, has been using the PIN to hear experiences and perspectives from communities often missed by public media.

Ashley Alvarado, Southern California Public Radio‘s public engagement editor, has long been a champion of listening to individuals and communities often excluded from news coverage and broader conversations.

She encourages her newsroom to tap PIN sources to hear what’s really going on their neighborhoods or how they experience a certain issue.  Below Ashley shares an idea brought to her by a news clerk that has grown into a multi-pronged discussion across multiple shows and platforms at KPCC.

What is the project and what’s your role in it?

There’s been a lot of conversation lately about what it means to be “Latino enough”. It’s an issue that is close to the hearts of many of us in the KPCC newsroom. And so we launched a PIN query that asked folks whether speaking Spanish is a requirement for being considered Latino. We also asked them to share any experiences they’d had with being told they weren’t a real Latino. I worked with Take Two news clerk Francine Rios (a non-Spanish-speaking Latina) on building a query, and we promoted it heavily for a couple of weeks. We aired a round table on Take Two that featured two PIN sources and then followed it with a call-in segment on AirTalk.

Where did the idea for this topic come from?

The idea came from Francine Rios, once she’d heard the news about Gina Rodriguez, who discussed, and got criticized for discussing, what she describes as “interracial Latino racism”.

What communities or groups are you focused on engaging with? Why?

Take Two host A Martinez speaks with Lauren Carris and Juan Carlos Salas, a PIN source, about Latino identity.

Take Two host A Martinez speaks with Lauren Carris and Juan Carlos Salas, a PIN source, about Latino identity.

These questions provided us a great opportunity to engage with people who self-identify as Latino in an organic, authentic way. We weren’t asking seemingly unrelated questions and then throwing in ethnicity questions (we’ve found that can actually limit response). We were asking something that showed we were addressing an issue from the inside out. Interestingly, I’ve received messages about how much the questions speak to folks—whether they’re Latino, Asian, or something else altogether.

How are you planning to engage with your audience around this topic? What do you think they’ll find compelling about these stories?

We’ve shared via social media and have been using the hashtag #LatinoEnough. It’s been impressive how much people have related with this.

What are you hoping the impact of this project will be?

We’ve already seen some impact from this query. AirTalk was not originally part of the conversation, but they were so impressed by the responses that they opted to do a segment on this.

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Annie Anderson Engagement and Inclusion Manager
Public Insight Network

Annie Anderson has the privilege of working with PIN partners around the country, providing training, coaching and support. In the last two years she has focused on diversifying and growing the Network. She specializes in community engagement opportunities and counseling.

While earning a master’s in public policy from the Humphrey School, she yearned for journalism by the people that could inform and respond to policy. Enter PIN: journalistic civic agency at its finest. She deeply believes that everyone is an expert and knows their own experience better than anyone else.