ethnic minorities

The good, the bad, and the ugly

We examine how the US print media portray Latinos and Hispanics, drawing on computer-assisted coding of 185,244 articles in 17 American newspapers between 1996 and 2016. We explore the prevalence of themes of criminality, immigration, illegal immigration, and economic threats. Among these themes, we find that criminality and illegal immigration are associated with the greatest degree of negativity. Yet, the overall tone of articles is neutral rather than negative. Using collocation analysis, we examine the topics associated with positivity within Latinx articles. Stories relating to Latinx achievement and culture have the strongest positive associations with the tone of newspaper coverage. Our research thus identifies the themes associated with both negativity and positivity, and shows that coverage of Latinx has been relatively neutral rather than predominantly negative.