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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Hispanic journalists’ group starts UA student chapter

    Nathan Olivarez-Giles
    Nathan Olivarez-Giles

    This semester the UA will become the fifth university in the nation to have a student chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

    NAHJ is a national organization that seeks to improve racial diversity in the newsroom and promotes Hispanic journalists and the issues that concern the Hispanic community.

    Approximately 20 students have joined the chapter. An anonymous donor is currently paying dues for any student who wishes to join.

    In 2005, approximately 13 percent of students in the journalism department were Hispanic, the largest minority group in the department, said Jeannine Relly, faculty advisor for the student chapter of NAHJ.

    The new chapter is still exploring what kind of direction it will take and what role it will play for the members.

    “”We’ve asked the members to let us know what is it they really want out of this group. Is it a more of a social group, or do you want speakers and workshops?”” said co-president Victoria Tinajero, a journalism senior.

    One of the group’s goals is to help promote diversity in the industry to provide a voice for Hispanics.

    “”This is important because … our community has been misrepresented in the past, and if you look at a lot of newsrooms, there isn’t much diversity and that’s one thing we’re looking to change,”” said co-president Nathan Olivarez-Giles, a journalism and Mexican-American studies senior.

    The group also seeks to create dialog about issues that affect the national Hispanic community.

    “”Something like using the right word to call someone, whether (it’s) a Hispanic or a Chicano or an illegal immigrant or an undocumented alien – there’s not really a space for that dialogue to happen right now,””

    said Olivarez-Giles, a former Arizona Daily Wildcat employee. “”Hopefully, we’re creating that space.””

    Tinajero said diversity in the newsroom would improve reporting and promote an accurate view of the Hispanic community.

    “”News is affected by the people who run the research,”” Tinajero said. “”If it’s all men, you’re not getting a female sentiment. (It’s) the same thing with a Hispanic or Latino or a Chicano in the newsroom. There’s something to be said when the constant image on the TV and in the newspapers of a Latino is someone being arrested and deported.””

    Many of those who attended the first meeting were not Hispanic but were interested in the group, Tinajero said.

    “”We’re just excited that students have all of this energy and are getting things started,”” Relly said.

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