Sun-Times series Nuevo Chicago doesn't make up for ignoring Latinos the rest of the year

I read the Sun-Times series "Nuevo Chicago. How young Hispanics are
reshaping the region
" with great interest. I commend reporters Kara
Spak, Dave Newbart and Laura Emerick for  reporting on this three-day
series that wrapped up Monday.


But three days of coverage of the
Latino community does not go far enough. Latinos account for more than
one-quarter of Chicago's population and the 2010 census will show
considerable growth throughout the city and state.

neighborhoods, leaders and issues that impact the Latino community
shouldn't be reserved for special sections once a year. They should be
part of the daily metro coverage.

The Latino community is rarely
seen or written about in the pages of the Sun-Times. And a three-day
series does not make up for the lack of regular coverage.

of the problem is that as far as I know, there are no Latino reporters
writing for the metro desk at the Sun-Times. I know this because I used
to work at the Sun-Times part-time. I was once on their editorial board. I was laid off in fall 2008 due to the economic cutbacks at the paper.

Esther Cepeda, who was the only Hispanic reporter in metro, was  laid off prior to me. She now writes a once a week freelance column on the op-ed pages but she doesn't just focus on Latino issues.

I know that the paper has faced hard economic times and lost many other reporters and editors.

I'm not saying that you have to be Latino to write about Latinos or that Latino reporters should only write about Latino issues.  But it is shocking to me that in a city the size of Chicago that there aren't more Latino bylines in the Sun-Times. I admire Suzanne Ontiveros, who writes an occasional op-ed column but not usually about Latino issues. And I also admire Laura Emerick, who writes occasional pieces about Latin music, and she wrote the third part of the series about music.

But both Ontiveros and Emerick are full-time editors of feature sections, and in my opinion the coverage of Latinos is needed in the metro or city section of the newspaper.

Now the Chicago Tribune has by my count at least five Latino reporters in metro and at least three photojournalists who are Latino. The Tribune Co. also publishes Hoy, a daily Spanish-language newspaper.

Having that number of Latino staffers does make a difference in the coverage. The Tribune has a reporter writing regularly about immigration, a beat that the Sun-Times ignores except for when there is big news like in the case of undocumented student Rigo Padilla.

For full disclosure, I was a metro reporter at the Tribune from 1995 to
2002 and this blog is on Chicago Now run by the Tribune Media Co.

Now don't think I'm picking only on the Sun-Times. I made this same argument in a blog post about CNN when they aired Soledad O'Brien's two-part special "Latino in America." Her commendable reports do not make up for the lack of daily coverage about Latinos on CNN.  And this was needed even more to counterbalance the Lou Dobbs show. Thankfully, he left CNN.

The Latino community is not new in Chicago and shouldn't be covered as if the Sun-Times was noticing it for the first-time. My only critique of the series is that the angles on the stories such as Latina teen pregnancy and dual identity are not fresh. They have been covered by other media before.

What the paper needs is beat reporting about immigration, Latino neighborhoods and issues. It doesn't matter to me if  the reporter who covers these issues is Latino or not.

A few days on the front page can't make up for virtually ignoring the Latino community the rest of the year.


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  • E-Verify is becoming a nationally known removal symbol, that the federal government introduced against unscrupulous employers who hire illegal labor. Most Liberal Democrats and even Republicans have tried to use their influence, to hide it from public attention. In partnership with certain members of our corrupt government, unions, the church and other groups sympathetic to the illegal alien cause or plain money economics, have used deceit, under funding or the off-switch, to dispose of the computer application. Sen. Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi was the epitome of deception and nearly managed to table it in the Senate. Like any law that trespasses on business profits, E-Verify has been ascertained as full of errors and was worthless. It might have been to the advantage of pariah companies, but not to the 15 million Americans out-of-work. I'm an Independent, but I have thrown my lot in with the tea-baggers, hoping to rid the political parties of raw CORRUPTION.

    Think on this! We are told we don't have the money to deport the 20 to 30 million already here? But states like SANCTUARY CALIFORNIA and across our nation, seem to locate the money for education, free health care treatment, prisons and a hundred and one hidden subsidies, that are denied to American's poor in many instances. Time and again, you will read that the PC run program is derogatory to citizens and green card holders alike, when if a E-Verify job applicant is rejected he can assert his rights at the Social security building in his community. SIMPLY STATING THAT NOBODY WITH INELIGIBLE DOCUMENTATION, WILL STAY AT A DISTANCE FROM THE SSA OFFICES. This is obviously not spelled out in the liberal press, associated websites or even negative bloggers comments. The Fact is they don't want to divulge the truth, to the general public and specially to all the working population.

    Our immigration enforcement programs are upside down, because Washington and the open border lobbyists have engineered it that way. We legally in this country have never undertaken, to research the truth about the decades of neglect under different administrations. We have been taken to the cleaner's for years, because we never seriously asked questions because we didn't have access to lawmakers? But the Internet has changed all that and anybody today can unravel the truth about the millions of illegal immigrants squatting here. YOU THE TAXPAYER ARE FORKING OUT THE BILLIONS? SO YOU SHOULD GOOGLE THE TRUTH AND FIND OUT WHERE YOUR TAXES ARE GOING? While you about it, research SMARTBUSINESSESPRACTICES. and read about the WASHINGTON AND STATE CORRUPTION AT JUDICIAL WATCH. dot. org

    At the same time call those phonies at the Capitol switchboard 202-224-3121 and ask them why are they trying to sell us on another AMNESTY, when the last one was never enforced. At the same time asked them why they have cut-back on ICE raids or why Janet Napolitano isn't doing her Homeland Security (HSC) job properly and evidently listening to open border lobbyists. HS chief has deliberately cut funding for the State, county and city police training programs, so they can arrest illegal aliens and send them home. In addition E-Verify has been recommended in the future to unmask illegal immigrant fraudulent mortgages and loan restructuring, transportation drivers licenses, vehicle registrations, insurance and health care.irregularities. It could also be used to detect illegal aliens voting in our elections as well. Our country is overrun by not just job seeking illegals, but hardened gangs and a list of habitual criminals who have run rampant.

    Be ready to deflate these tired old wealthy legislators brought and sold, beginning with the mid-term elections. PUBLIC UPROAR IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET THINGS DONE? American jobs for American people. One flag--One language. No Copyright. Copy and Paste. Watch for illegal aliens voting in--NEVADA--this 2010.

  • To Brittanica: I grew up on the South Side of Chicago. If ever there was a city that is and was multilingual it is Chicago. Polish was the dominent language back in my day. Irish was the dominent ethnic group. The only reason that the Irish didn't speak Gallic was that the English, when they invaded Ireland, beat it out of them. (I bet you think that was just wonderful.)
    One flag, maybe, but many stars, and many stripes. One language my foot--that would make us less intelligent than most Europeans who speak at least 4 languages. More languages spoken, more brain-power.

    BTW, you need help in writing sentences. I quote one of yours: "SIMPLY STATING THAT NOBODY WITH INELIGIBLE DOCUMENTATION, WILL STAY AT A DISTANCE FROM THE SSA OFFICES." Even though you are angry, try to make some sense when you write. What I have put in quotes, as it is what you have written, isn't a sentence, and it doesn't make sense.

    At present, I am a Nevadan. I have been here for 32 years now. What does that final sentence you wrote mean? I quote: "Watch for illegal aliens voting in--Nevada--this 2010." Hello, my child, what elections will be going on this year? 2010? Aren't you a bit confused at present? There are no elections this year.

  • Look. I realize that ignorance has to be cured, so learn this: the word 'their' is a possessive pronoun, to be used in front of a noun, as in, 'their books', their house, their children' and so on.
    It is not used correctly when you say 'Their is a Senate race...'. Instead, you should use the word, 'there', as in, 'There is a Senate race...'.

    If you are pushing so hard for one language, try to use that one language correctly, okay? Plus, put two spaces (in typing) between a period at the end of a sentence, and the start of a new sentence.

    Also, concerning the vote re Harry Reid, remember the quote: 'it ain't over until its over'. And thank you for informing me of the election. I don't hear much about it here in Northern Nevada, or who is running against him. Do you know?

    Yes, I taught for 37 years, and it appears, I need to still keep teaching.

  • You should be very glad I am not teaching period! I am a retired teacher and have been so for 10 years. Wait until you are past 70 and you will understand what it is like to lose track of events and items, and dates.

    I called Reid's office just to verify what you say and you are correct. What I find ever so interesting is the lack of signs anywhere at all in Nevada. You and I know that in an election year signs seem to grow out of the fields, yet, there is nothing anywhere. The lack of signs is what threw me off center.

    Is there some particular reason that you had to post the same post 3 times? I understand that you had to correct the spelling of 'glag' to 'glad', but why 3 times?

    I am an English teacher, sir, and so it is that I focus on words written and sentences composed by others. You still need help in your construction of sentences. (Your first sentence is actually two sentences, btw.)

    And, I teach the numerous people who wish to learn English properly. There is a volunteer program called ESLINHOME in which I teach. So many of the people who speak another language want to learn English correctly and do not have the funds to do so. This is a free program.

    You might consider signing up for the program.

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