LA Times Owner Says He Expects a Quarter of Newsroom Staff to Be Latino in Next 5 Years

“Our staff makeup and coverage should better reflect the fact that one in two people in LA County is Latino. This should go without saying,” Patrick Soon-Shiong says in letter

Photographed by Ian Spanier for TheWrap

Following calls from staff to diversify the Los Angeles Times’ newsroom, owner Patrick Soon-Shiong pledged to have a quarter of the Times’ newsroom staff to be Latino over the next five years.

“Our staff makeup and coverage should better reflect the fact that one in two people in LA County is Latino. This should go without saying,” Soon-Shiong wrote in a Tuesday letter to the Times’ staff and Latino Caucus, which has recently launched social media campaigns to highlight the underrepresentation of Latinx staff at the paper. “Over the next five years, we expect to achieve a newsroom where Latinos make up one quarter of our staff.”

Soon-Shiong’s letter also outlined a number of other initiatives to be implemented at the paper, including “new metrics that evaluate managers’ adherence to diversity initiatives and hiring,” the creation of a Talent and Culture Editor to meet “at least once a quarter” with the Latino Caucus to “discuss openings and promotion opportunities” and the creation of a database with the names of journalists recommended by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists to aid with the paper’s recruiting.

“The LA Times is not immune to the disease of institutional racism metastasizing in our country. I apologize for not empowering our Latino journalists and staff at the rate and scale required to reverse the legacy of racism and restore the health of our industry,” Soon-Shiong wrote. “The commitments outlined today cannot erase our failure to prioritize the Latino community. Yet my hope is for this letter to reflect a new page in our story.”

Read his full letter below:

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