Former LAT reporter, and current LA Weekly hard-hitter, Daniel Hernadez wrote a helluva piece about the LAT’s chronically bad “Latino coverage.”
This evening, he tells FBLA about the response his article has inspired:
“I have not gotten any real responses from high-ups, except for some congrats or pointers from people I quoted in it or who were sources. Otherwise, the response has been immense. Readers are telling me they appreciated the piece and its reporting, and telling me their own maddening LAT stories. Did you know the paper relegated the obit for Cantinflas — the Mexican Charlie Chaplin — to a three-inch brief in the back Metro?! Oh my… That’s what someone just wrote me to say. [Gotta check it out, but it wouldn’t be surprising]
“I sort of feel like my job is done; I laid out what I knew and what I found out and talked to as many people as I could about the issues at play, then told the story.”
For the uninitiated, Hernandez explains his intentions on his blog.
In several interviews for this piece, sources took questions I posed to them and asked them right back: Why did you leave? What was your experience like? How do you think the L.A. Times fails or succeeds in reaching out to Latinos? Although I obviously have a connection to the subject, I tried approaching the story as any open, curious reporter might. To do this effectively, I had to make sure personalities, personal connections, or professional considerations would not come into play. I was concerned primarily with telling a complex tale about an L.A. institution that pretty much forged the city as we know it. Basically, the piece is a channel for exploring topics that already fascinate me: the news media, the notion of a “Latino community,” identity politics, L.A. culture and history.