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Juan in a Hundred

Juan in a Hundred
The Representation of Latinos on Network News

A timely, accessible study—bolstered by startling statistics—of the sparse coverage of Latinos on network evening news and the social inequity perpetuated by the frequently negative tone of the few news stories that do spotlight Latinos.

January 2013
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317 pages | 6 x 9 | 10 illus., 8 charts, 9 tables |

Latinos constitute the fastest-growing and largest ethnic minority in the United States, yet less than one percent of network news coverage deals with Latinos as the focus of a story. Out of that one percent, even fewer stories are positive in either content or tone. Author of the acclaimed Brown Tide Rising: Metaphors of Latinos in Contemporary American Public Discourse, Otto Santa Ana has completed a comprehensive analysis of this situation, blending quantitative research with semiotic readings and ultimately applying cognitive science and humanist theory to explain the repercussions of this marginal, negative coverage.

Santa Ana’s choice of network evening news as the foundation for Juan in a Hundred is significant because that medium is currently the single most authoritative and influential source of opinion-generating content. In his 2004 research, Santa Ana calculated that among approximately 12,000 stories airing across four networks (ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC), only 118 dealt with Latinos, a ratio that has remained stagnant over the past fifteen years. Examining the content of the stories, from briefs to features, reveals that Latino-tagged events are apparently only broadcast when national politics or human calamity are involved, and even then, the Latino issue is often tangential to a news story as a whole. On global events involving Latin America, U.S. networks often remain silent while BBC correspondents prepare fully developed, humanizing coverage. The book concludes by demonstrating how this obscurity and misinformation perpetuate maligned perceptions about Latinos. Santa Ana’s inspiring calls for reform are poised to change the face of network news in America.

  • Acknowledgments
  • Transcription and Semiotic Conventions
  • Prologue: Studying the Network News Coverage on Latinos
  • Chapter 1: What US Latino Stories Make the Network News?
  • Section I: Semiotic Analyses of Network News Stories about Latinos
    • Chapter 2: Inside-the-Beltway Stories
      • José Padilla: Citizen Terrorist or Simply Terrorist?
        • CNN News Brief, #2
        • CBS News Report, #60
      • Latinos in the White House
        • ABC: Alberto Gonzales Nominated Attorney General, #100
        • CNN: Carlos Gutierrez Nominated Commerce Secretary, #112
      • Presidential Campaign for Latino Voters
        • ABC: Speaking Spanish Garners Latino Votes, #10
        • NBC: Rejecting a Latino Voter Myth, #82
        • NBC: Latino Voters in Western States, #90
        • ABC: Candidates Appear on Sábado Gigante, #97
    • Chapter 3: News Briefs and Feature Stories
      • Economic Impact of Latinos
        • NBC News Brief on Jobs, #27
      • Health of Latinos
        • CBS News Brief on Strokes, #80
        • CBS Investigative Report: Hospitals Price-Gouging Latinos, #47
      • Politics of Entertainment
        • ABC: Visas Denied to Cuban Musicians, #13
      • Multiple News Briefs on Defecting Cuban Dancers
        • CBS: "A Day without a Mexican," #49
        • CBS: Reality Show ¡Gana la Verde! #87
      • Latinos and Public Education
        • CBS: Increasingly Segregated Schools, #51
        • NBC/Telemundo: DREAM Act Students, #57
      • Iraq War Latino Soldiers
        • CNN: Death of a Green Card Soldier, #33
        • ABC: Sergeant Rafael Peralta, #109
      • Latinos in Sports
        • ABC: NFL Marketing to Latinos, #9
        • Baseball's A-Rod, #16, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23
        • NBC: Olympic Triple Jumper Becomes Iconic Immigrant, #85
    • Chapter 4: News Stories about Caribbean Immigrants
      • Cuban Migrants as Refugees
        • ABC and CBS News Briefs about Cubans Floating on a Buick, #11, #12
        • ABC News Brief about Mexican Piñata Girl, #105
        • ABC and CBS News Briefs on Cubans Migrating by Inner Tube, #34, #35
      • Dominican Migrants as Victims
        • NBC and ABC News Briefs and NBC Report, #63, #81, #14
      • Dominican Migrants as Criminals
        • ABC In-Depth Story, #74
    • Chapter 5: Immigration Policy Stories
      • Bush's Immigration Policy Initiative
        • ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, #3
        • CNN NewsNight with Aaron Brown, #1
        • NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, #4
      • Phoenix "Drop Houses"
        • NBC News Brief, #15
        • CNN News Brief, #24
        • Second CNN News Brief, #28
        • CNN Feature-Length Story, #30
      • New Flood of Immigrants?
        • First NBC/Telemundo Report, #17
        • Second NBC Report, #48
    • Chapter 6: Feature-Length News Stories about Mexican Immigrants
      • NBC: Mexican Migrants in the Aftermath of a Hurricane, #83
      • NBC/Telemundo: Air Flight Repatriations, #89
      • CBS: Contrasting Views of Arizona's Prop 200, #117
      • CBS: "Immigration: What Does It Mean to You?" #77
      • ABC/BBC: "Dangerous Crossing," #116
    • Conclusions: Semiotic Analyses of Network News Stories about Latinos
  • Section II: Humanist Theories and Cognitive Modeling of Television News Readings
    • Chapter 7: A Cognitive Model to Incorporate Second-Order Signs
    • Chapter 8: Adding Narrative to Semiotics: Myths That Underlie News Stories
    • Chapter 9: Conclusion
  • Appendix A: Summary Table of 118 Network Evening News Stories about Latinos in 2004
  • Appendix B: Template for Social Semiotic Analysis of Network News Stories (#48)
  • Notes
  • References
  • Credits
  • Index

Otto Santa Ana is Associate Professor of Chicana/o Studies at UCLA. A sociolinguist and critical discourse analyst, he is the author of the award-winning Brown Tide Rising, which was named Best Book of the Year on Ethnic and Racial Political Ideology by the American Political Science Association.


“Given the current demographics whereby Latinos are now the largest minority group in the United States, the narrow waveband of Latino representation in today’s news programming presents a glaring omission that remains largely overlooked by scholars. Dr. Santa Ana’s exhaustive and necessary study fills this gap, with some startling discoveries. The book adds important theoretical perspectives that are absent from most studies in this field [and] most of which do not contain this depth of research, analysis, or interpretation. . . . Juan in a Hundred doesn’t just identify and criticize. It offers solutions and new directions.”
Frederick Luis Aldama, Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor of English, Director of Latino Studies and L.A.S.E.R., the Ohio State University