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The Business Case for Diversity in News Media

"Embrace diversity if you want to survive and thive," this is the message to news media of Hugo Balta, a Diversity & Inclusion Media Specialist and immediate past president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

In his commentary that appears in Borderzine, he writes the best argument for diversity is that diversity is good for business: the financial future of any United States enterprise depends on the spending strength and inclusion of African-Americans, Asian Americans and Latinos in all sectors of society.

However, he points out that those in a position to make "diversity-driven editorial decisions are not diverse themselves."

According to him, the way to build diversity is to realize one size does not fit all, and this is a challenge for diversity decision makers as they are not part of a target community. For example, Balta writes: The decision makers who draw up blueprints on how best to reach Latinos don’t see the distinction, usually because they’re not part of the Latino community and lack sensibility about our unique national origins.

A related article concerning Latinos in media, "Latinos Bring More Than Diversity to the Newsroom" suggests having a long-term strategy: Media companies have to develop a well thought out, long-term strategy for courting the mushrooming Latino market. As part of that strategy, enlightened self-interest would dictate the recruiting of people who are part of and familiar with the Latino community. Hire the right people, nurture them, retain them. Cover Latino issues well, report on stories Latinos are interested in, and they will respond. (Nieman Reports.org)

Overall, Balta's call to diversity is summed thus: In reality what will lead news companies to profitable success is a multicultural workforce that’s provided with a newsroom environment where taking risks, empowerment and social commitment are encouraged and rewarded.

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