Salaries Lower for Spanish-Language Broadcasters
Friday, August 16, 2002
Spanish-language radio and TV broadcasters earn significantly less than their counterparts at English-language stations and receive inferior health and retirement benefits, says a study from the University of California at Los Angeles.
The median salary for on-air talent at Spanish-language stations in Los Angeles was $60,000, compared with about $200,000 at English-language stations, according to the UCLA research. Spanish-language radio broadcasters' median salary was $41,000, and it was $90,000 for English-language radio talent, said the school's Center for the Study of Urban Poverty.
Univision and Telemundo, the companies which dominate the Spanish-language broadcasting industry, bore the brunt of criticism from center Director Abel Valenzuela Jr., who urged the Spanish-speaking broadcasting industry to "increase pay to levels comparable to those at English-language stations. In addition, they can encourage contractual arrangements, improve employment benefits, including health and retirement, and enforce anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws."
The study is based on a survey of Spanish-language on-air broadcasters conducted in spring 2001. The results are based on the responses of 114 Spanish-language on-air broadcasters and on 14 in-depth interviews with broadcasters. The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists provided information about the English-language media market in Los Angeles and funded the study, which was conducted by the Center for the Study of Urban Poverty.
For a PDF version of a summary of the report or the report itself, e-mail Gretchen@ucla.edu.
Laura Vecsey, sports columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer since the fall of 1994, has resigned to become a sports columnist for the Baltimore Sun, the P-I's executive editor, Ken Bunting, told the P-I staff on Tuesday.
Vecsey confirmed her departure with her own upbeat note to the staff, but neither mentioned that to keep her job, Vecsey had to survive a lawsuit by a white male sportswriter claiming sex discrimination. The case is an unpleasant reminder of the obstacles to achieving newsroom diversity.
Eager to break up the all-male sports department, then-publisher J.D. Alexander had acknowledged that Vecsey's female perspective and the "fact that she is female" were factors in the paper's decision to hire Vecsey from the Albany (N.Y.) Times Union, which like the P-I, is owned by the Hearst Corp. That acknowledgment prompted the claim of sex discrimination by Lawrence Withers, who in 1998 persuaded the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to rule that he had presented sufficient evidence to create an inference of discriminatory intent by the P-I.
Such was the climate of the times that the P-I did not argue diversity or affirmative action issues, but insisted only that it wanted the best qualified candidate, and that happened to be Vecsey.
After a jury deadlock produced a mistrial in U.S. District Court, Withers' case was settled out of court in 1999, with the Hearst-owned morning daily agreeing to pay him an undisclosed sum, the Associated Press reported.
Bunting didn't want to revisit the circumstances of Vecsey's hiring -- "it doesn't seem like a relevant topic to me at this juncture," he said -- but Vecsey says sexism in the sports world is still very much alive.
"As I foolishly read a Web site called www.sportsjournalists.com (that someone just told me exists) and see the level of mean-spiritedness, sexism and homophobia amongst what I hope is a loud minority of media world insiders/observers, I have to make sure I don't say anything really silly about the negative forces (you can insert old-boy network mindset) at work in our industry," Vecsey told Journal-isms.
"Let's just say that without a thick skin and a certain love of the business, one would run for the hills, or a . . . job at the nearest Starbucks, just to get away from damaging vibes and work environments.
"In the meantime, this is a wonderful opportunity. Getting to write about sports in a great city like Baltimore is an honor."
Merv Aubespin would be the first to say that the stories we tell as journalists are not supposed to be about ourselves. But this story will be, writes Pam Platt in the Courier-Journal in Louisville.
After a 34-year run, which included stints as an artist, a reporter, an editor and a one-of-a-kind mentor, Merv has retired from the Courier-Journal.
"It is not easy to be a pioneer and Merv felt the weight of being the pebble in the shoe, the clapper in the bell, the fly in the bowl of milk. But perseverance and pluck saw him through trying times. Along the trail he blazed, he honed what he calls "survival techniques" that he passed on to people of other colors, cultures, creeds and gender who wanted to find a place in mostly white, mostly male newsrooms. Inch by inch, byline by byline, masthead by masthead, things started to change. But the fight is never done," Platt writes.
Aubespin was president of the National Association of Black Journalists from 1983 to 1985.
Someone who represents all the ingredients of influence was distributing hellos, hugs, and heartfelt advice at the National Association of Black Journalists convention in Milwaukee, writes Jill Geisler, group leader, leadership, at the Poynter Institute. He is Byron Pitts of CBS News, NABJ's Journalist of the Year. "A reporter who mentors young people, who advocates for colleagues, takes on tough issues with passion and purpose, writes notes of appreciation to people he interviews, and, of course, does first-class journalism -- That is a person of influence," Geisler says.
Text of Byron Pitts acceptance speech as "Journalist of the Year"
For veteran reporter Stephanie Saul of Newsday in Melville, N.Y., investigative reporting has usually meant tracking down sexual abuse by Catholic priests or exposing police fraud, not finding out where a Little League pitcher lives, reports Editor & Publisher.
But when rumors began spreading last week that some members of the World Series-bound Harlem Little League team in New York did not live in Harlem -- a clear violation of Little League rules -- Saul set out to track down the truth.
Using a list of Harlem players and their parents, Saul matched the names with voting rolls, public records, and other database sources to confirm their home addresses. The research revealed that two of the youngsters live in the Bronx and one resides in another area of Manhattan outside Harlem.
However, dreams of winning a Little League World Series were kept alive Thursday night for 14 city boys as the international organization bent its rules to allow the Harlem squad to continue to chase the title, Newsday reported.
The American Society of Newspaper Editors has joined the Associated Press Managing Editors in announcing the Robert G. McGruder Awards for Diversity Leadership, sponsored by the Freedom Forum. Two awards will be given annually, one for newspapers with a circulation of up to 50,000, the other for newspapers with more than 50,000 circulation.
The awards will go to individuals, newsrooms or teams of journalists who embody the spirit of McGruder, the executive editor of the Detroit Free Press who died of cancer in April. McGruder was a past president of APME, and former member of ASNE's board of directors, and a relentless diversity champion. .
In October, the Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., plans to launch el Sentinel, a free weekly Spanish-language paper for Broward County, reports Editor & Publisher.
Deborah Ramirez, an editorial writer and columnist for the Sun-Sentinel, will serve as editor.
The Sun-Sentinel Co. is a subsidiary of Tribune Co., which also publishes Spanish-language titles in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Orlando, Fla. -- all of which share content. El Sentinel plans to distribute 60,000 free copies every Saturday to Hispanic households and newspaper racks. The paper and accompanying Web site will include local, national, and international news.
Sun-Sentinel Co. President Bob Gremillion pointed to U.S. Census figures showing that Broward County's Hispanic population has tripled since 1990. National Advertising Manager Hernan Ponce said advertisers have expressed interest in more opportunities to reach this audience.
Billionaire Ted Turner, founder of CNN, has agreed to drop a lawsuit against a group of Gullah descendants and donate to them 68 disputed acres on St. Helena Island off the coast of Beaufort, S.C., reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Gullah people maintain vestiges of African speech and customs, but have been squeezed off many of the coastal islands they once dominated.
"He understands that this bond of community cannot be preserved unless people stay together, and they cannot stay together unless they have land where they can gather," read a statement issued by attorneys for both sides.
Turner had sued Lands End Woodland Inc., a club formed by the Gullah heirs to protect their 328-acre inheritance on St. Helena Island .
"We feel he backed down because he didn't have a strong case and wanted to settle," said Kenneth Sumpter, a Lands End board member. Sumpter said he and others believe wealthy figures like Turner are keenly interested in St. Helena because of its potential for development. The island is located 60 miles from the popular Hilton Head Island resort area. Sumpter is brother-in-law of Sidmel Estes-Sumpter, executive producer of WAGA-TV's "Good Day Atlanta" and a former president of the National Association of Black Journalists.
The first bilingual issue of People en Español hits newsstands this week with a special "Makeover: Body and Soul" issue, featuring a guide to Hispanic beauty, fitness and fashion. Mediaweek.com reports that in addition to its regular newsstand readers and subscribers, the issue is to be sent to 100,000 Hispanic women selected from parent Time Inc.'s database, for a total projected reach of nearly 500,000. All advertising is in Spanish. Future bilingual issues for People en Español will depend on the issue's success, said publisher Lisa Quiroz.
The U.S. Postal Service plans to issue a set of four 37-cent postage stamps honoring female journalists on Sept. 14 during the national convention of the Society of Professional Journalists.
The stamps pay tribute to four accomplished women in journalism: Nellie Bly, Ida M. Tarbell, Marguerite Higgins and Ethel L. Payne.
For each stamp, artist Fred Otnes created a collage featuring a black-and-white photograph combined with memorabilia such as publication nameplates and story headlines, with information about the specific elements in each collage contained in the design briefs of the individual profiles.
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