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An “incredible number of Latinos and Asians:” Media representations of racial and ethnic population change in Atlanta, Georgia


The United States has experienced substantial population change in recent decades. Important trends during the 1990s include the strong growth of Latinos and Asians, and their increasing geographical dispersion throughout the country. Most individuals were likely to learn about these and other demographic shifts from mainstream media coverage of Census 2000 results. This study considers how journalists in Atlanta, Georgia, a non-traditional destination for Latinos and Asians, conveyed a simultaneous and significant increase of Whites, African Americans, Latinos and Asians in one Atlanta-area county. Analyses of 70 Atlanta Journal-Constitution articles published between 2000 and 2003 reveal that reporters were unlikely to provide comprehensive or balanced coverage about local racial/ethnic change. Instead, journalists provided far more statistics about Latinos and Asians than either Whites or Blacks and linked non-White population growth with negative issues. These practices suggest how members of the media continue to participate in discourses that sustain and disguise the racialized hierarchy in the United States.


McConnell, Eileen Díaz. 2011. “An ‘incredible number of Latinos and Asians’: Media Representations of Racial and Ethnic Population Change in Atlanta, Georgia.” Latino  

Studies. 9 (2/3): 177-197.

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