[translations idioma=”ES” url=”https://archives.rgnn.org/2015/03/07/perro-guardian-lucha-contra-la-desinformacion-hacia-hispanos/”]
WASHINGTON, D.C. Cuidado: Hispanic media has a new arbiter.
News watchdog, Media Matters for America (MMFA), announced on Monday the launch of a pro-diversity campaign called Inclusion Matters, a research project geared at highlighting the lack of Latino voices in the news and correcting “conservative misinformation.” Along with scrutinizing right-wing commentary, Inclusion Matters is shining the spotlight on Spanish-language media giants Telemundo and Univisión, as well as more diverse outlets aimed at a younger generation such as Fox News Latino, Fusion and the Huffington Post.
MMFA says the launch reflects “changing demographic and media landscapes” in the US, citing the population boom of Hispanics and the ensuing competition for their news consumption.
“Hispanic communities viewing, reading or listening to news media across the country deserve to know that someone is now holding news producers accountable for marginalizing Latino viewpoints, misrepresenting our beliefs, or demeaning our achievements in order to satisfy political ideologies or to hide shoddy journalism,” said Miguel Ferrer, Senior Advisor for MMFA in a press release.
Inclusion Matters’ debut story attacking The Libre Initiative, a conservative group that seeks to engage Latino voters, serves as an apt manifesto for the present necessity of such a project.
In the post, MMFA characterizes the Initiative as a conservative Trojan Horse of sorts, touting promises to “inform the Hispanic community about economic freedom,” while simply rebranding an old right-wing agenda. Libre, a benefactor of the billionaire industrialists Koch brothers, promotes issues such as school vouchers, repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and passing voter ID laws, policy positions that “disproportionately disenfranchise Hispanic voters.”
“Media has to be more critical of stories that relate to Hispanics and not traffic in poorly vetted stories and misinformation,” Ferrer, told The Huffington Post. “A lot of this rightwing distortion as it relates to media has assumed that nobody’s checking.”
Ferrer, previously vice president for digital media at Fusion and later as bilingual managing editor for HuffPost Latino Voices, is a multicultural branding and marketing veteran. Now, he walks a fine line between presenting Hispanics as diverse enough to avoid “single-issue voter” status, and presenting them as a united front that holds certain values.
Indeed, in recent years the increased attention towards Hispanics and their role in society has threatened to homogenize the perception of “Hispanic issues.” Emphasizing this problem is a second MMFA analysis illustrating how Sunday talk shows tend to disproportionately discuss immigration with Hispanics over more valued topics, like education or health care. In fact, according to a Pew Research Center report, the top issues among Hispanics tend to be shared across cultures.