A week after the elections, people are still talking about the Latino vote. It’s clear that the vote coming from the Latino community made a big impact on the elections, especially for states like Florida. However, it’s been noted that though all the news stations and channels are talking about the Latino vote, it’s not being talked about by actual Latinos.
There might be Spanish translation ads still floating around, but there are basically no Hispanic “talking heads” on T.V. discussing the recent elections or the influence of the Hispanic community.
Latinos are in Congress, But Not on the T.V.
Come January, there will be 31 Latinos in congress, but among the English speaking news stations and channels, there is not one Latino talking about the Latino vote. The days following the election saw nearly every station covering the highlights, the laws passed, and of course, rampant speculation about what changes Obama’s second term would bring to America.
They were also talking about the Latino vote, though even liberal stations such as MSNBC had four white men over the age of fifty discussing all the election events, including the Latino vote.
It was the same for every other station as well. In fact, out of twenty-three anchors at MSNBC, only one is Hispanic. At CNN, only two are Hispanic, despite the company also owning CNN en Española. The Spanish translation services employed by MSNBC and CNN are admirable, but the lack of Hispanic anchors for their main networks have upset some in the Hispanic community.
Lack of Hispanic Coverage
Jose Rodriguez, a retired Air Force colonel and active member of the Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, says that he was disappointed by the lack of Hispanic coverage of the elections, especially since it was a big election year for Hispanics across America. He also believes that in general, American news media needs more Hispanic voices.
Rodriguez says that if Hispanics are the fastest growing minority in the United States, then there needs to be better representation in the national English speaking media. He doesn’t just mean Spanish to English or English to Spanish translation services, but actual Latinos participating in mainstream news media.
Are Political Agendas Holding Back Hispanic News?
Glenn Llopis, founder and CEO of the nonpartisan Center for Hispanic Leadership suggests that maybe there are fewer Hispanic news anchors and Hispanics working in public English speaking media because they have political agendas that hinder them from objectively speaking about issues that can inform and educate mainstream viewing audiences. The political agendas held by some Hispanic news anchors may also not represent the view of most Latinos.
Llopis also says that the media also doesn’t want to hear entitled or victimized voices, they want a Hispanic who can talk about matters like a white person would, but instead they would be representing issues that resound with the Hispanic community. All of this might be hard for the Hispanic community to hear, but it might also be the harsh reality of demanding English speaking news media.