SOURCE: National Association of Hispanic Journalists

National Association of Hispanic Journalists

November 12, 2009 18:30 ET

NAHJ Welcomes Dobbs' Departure From CNN

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - November 12, 2009) - The following press release is a statement by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ):

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists has long been on record as advocating fair, accurate and balanced coverage on Latinos and immigration in particular. Fairness, accuracy and balance, on the whole, have been largely absent from CNN commentator Lou Dobbs' coverage on immigration.

NAHJ welcomes Dobbs' departure from CNN, announced Wednesday. We laud CNN's willingness to let him out of his contract early to "pursue new opportunities."

We note, however, that Dobbs will continue as anchor of a daily radio show broadcast by more than 160 stations as part of the United Stations Radio Networks Inc. And even CNN acknowledges that his departure is based on his decision to "carry the banner of advocacy journalism elsewhere."

Our fear is that CNN's gain -- represented by the loss of Dobbs -- will simply be someone's pain elsewhere.

Dobbs' "reporting" prompted some groups earlier to demand that CNN either dismiss or control him, specifically on this issue of immigration. We've understood the deep concern Dobbs' reporting has generated but did not join these efforts. Not because Dobbs is an NAHJ lifetime member by virtue of a single donation made earlier, but because we believe that the best antidote to flawed journalism is good journalism, of the kind practiced both by our members and by most of the responsible press on the issue of immigration.

In that spirit, today we call on CNN to keep the highest standards of journalism in mind as it considers Dobbs' replacement, considering when it makes this decision the considerable harm Dobbs' show has done to the cause of understanding on the issue of immigration in particular. It is an issue that has too long attracted fear mongering and inaccurate reporting.

Soledad O'Brien's "Latino in America" series on CNN did much to advance this cause of understanding. As CNN considers how to replace Dobbs, we would ask for more of this kind of reporting and far less -- as in none -- of the kind practiced by Dobbs.

Our issue with Dobbs has never been about "advocacy journalism." Opinion journalism plays a treasured role as watchdog and valuable source of information in a democratic society. But this opinion should ideally be supported by facts. Dobbs has failed in this regard.

Wherever he lands, we challenge journalists and listeners and viewers everywhere to continue weighing Dobbs' "advocacy journalism" -- on immigration in particular -- against reality. In such a contest, we have no doubt that a more reasoned understanding of immigration and Latinos will prevail.

Founded in 1984, NAHJ's mission is to increase the percentage of Latinos working in our nation's newsrooms and to improve news coverage of the Latino community. NAHJ is the nation's largest professional organization for Latino journalists with more than 1,400 members working in English and Spanish-language print, photo, broadcast and online media. NAHJ is a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization. For more information, visit

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    NAHJ President
    O. Ricardo Pimentel
    (414) 224-2128