The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) today launched the Latino Experts Program, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and created to increase the visibility of Latino experts in local news coverage.
Over a two-year span, NHMC trained more than 100 Latino leaders, representing various fields of expertise and based in 12 television markets, to speak in media.
"Latinos are an integral part of the American social fabric, but you wouldn't know that from watching the news," said Alex Nogales, president and CEO of NHMC, a multiple Emmy Award-winning producer who led the trainings. "It's time for the media to reflect reality. There are thousands upon thousands of Latino experts in their field, working to make this country better for all Americans. Latino views and faces are essential for balanced and responsible coverage, and yet they are still largely excluded. We now have the opportunity to transform this by elevating Latino perspectives on the issues shaping our country."
NHMC has provided lists of these experts as resources for local television stations to ensure a wider range of viewpoints on their news and public affairs programs.
"We are proud to be working with local television outlets across the country to ensure that their coverage better serves and reflects the diversity of their communities," said Jessica J. González, executive vice president and general counsel of NHMC.
Persisting stereotypes and the underrepresentation of Latinos in news and entertainment media have shaped negative perceptions about Latinos among non-Latinos, according to 2012 studies commissioned by NHMC on the impact of media portrayals of Latinos and immigrants.
NHMC identified and trained 10 leaders in each of the top 12 television markets with expertise in fields including education, civil rights, health, immigration, public safety, business, economy, and LGBT issues. Selected markets include: New York City; Los Angeles; Chicago; Philadelphia; Dallas - Ft. Worth; San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose; Boston; Atlanta; Washington, D.C.; Houston; Detroit; and Phoenix. NHMC has provided the lists of Latino experts to general managers and news directors of local ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX owned-and-operated and affiliate stations in those markets as a resource for future stories.