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, 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?
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.