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We Speak Your Language: How Bilingual Journalism is Practiced in the American West
AuthorVan Hoozer, Natalie
JournalismWorld Languages and Literatures
Journalism | Spanish
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More Hispanics now live in the United States than ever before (Flores, 2017), with the total number of Hispanics in the U.S. projected to grow to 199 million by 2060 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2014). Spanish is the second most dominant language in the country after English (Gonzalez-Barrera & Lopez, 2013). These trends have prompted increased interest in bilingual Spanish-English journalism in the news media. The goal of this study was to analyze how bilingual journalists working in areas with high concentrations of English and Spanish speakers serve diverse audiences. The research question for this project is therefore: How are bilingual journalists responding linguistically and culturally to the needs of a growing bilingual Spanish-speaking audience? To address this question, in-depth interviews were conducted with 11 Spanish-English bilingual journalists in Los Angeles and San Francisco, two areas with large Spanish-speaking populations. Through these interviews, the reporting practices of journalists who work in print, broadcast and online media were identified. Participants consider bilingualism an important asset for reaching diverse audiences. They believe it is becoming more accepted and noted experiments in Spanglish to reach young Latino audiences.