Fox News Sunday has not hosted a single Latina in the past three years, a bleak data point that is representative of a much broader news media diversity problem.
According to a Media Matters study, guests on Sunday shows in 2015 were overwhelmingly white, conservative, and male. Media Matters analyzed guest appearances in 2015 on the five network and cable Sunday morning shows -- ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, CBS' Face the Nation with John Dickerson, Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, NBC's Meet the Press with Chuck Todd, and CNN's State of the Union with Jake Tapper -- and found them lacking in Latino representation. Based on the latest U.S. Census data, Latino men amount to 9 percent of the general population, but only 3 percent of all guests on the five Sunday shows were male Latinos. Latinas, also 9 percent of the general population, amounted to only 1 percent of total Sunday show guests in 2015.
Fox News Sunday, which had its third year in a row without a Latina guest, is a particularly egregious example. Yet 2015 saw numerous pressing policy issues that disproportionately affect Latinas, such as attempts to block access to reproductive health services (a matter of judicial debate last year and currently under review by the Supreme Court), efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, and continued wage gaps between genders.
Newsroom diversity significantly influences news narratives. The lack of Latino representation in these discussions can not only lead to an absence of substantive coverage of the issues that matter the most to Latinos but also to inaccurate portrayals that perpetuate harmful stereotypes. In addition, experts say lack of representation could have long-lasting, harmful impacts on this demographic. Prominent Latino leaders have remarked on the need to improve Latino visibility in the media. For example, National Council of La Raza's (NCLR) Janet Murguía emphasized that Hispanic media figures have “a real understanding of the Latino community” and are therefore uniquely positioned to make “sure that our community is more informed” and “can engage at a higher level.”