Wed, 01/19/2011 - 10:11 — admin
January 18, 2011
NHMC, joined by a robust and diverse collection of other organizations, reached out to leaders at the FCC and the NTIA to urge each entity to act on NHMC’s long-standing requests to study the effects of hate speech in media.
Click here to read the letter to the FCC.
Click here to read the letter to the NTIA.
Mon, 05/10/2010 - 12:39 — admin
May 7, 2010
NHMC et al. respectfully request that the Commission grant NHMC’s Petition for Inquiry on hate speech in media, filed in January of 2009. NHMC’s Petition urges the Commission to examine the extent and effects of hate speech in media, including the likely link between hate speech and hate crimes, and to explore non-regulatory ways to counteract its negative impacts. As NHMC has awaited Commission action, hate, extremism and misinformation have been on the rise, and even more so in the past week as the media has focused on Arizona’s passage of one of the harshest pieces of anti-Latino legislation in this country’s history, SB 1070.
As outlined in NHMC’s Petition, the current media landscape is a safe-haven for hate and extremism. Many communities and individuals do not have the information they want and need to intelligently engage in our democracy. This shortage of information is exacerbated by the vast media consolidation that has unfolded over the past two decades. Studies show that media consolidation diminishes ownership opportunities for people of color and leads to less diversity of voices; this yields a media in which people of color are under and misrepresented. As traditional media have become less diverse and less competitive, they have also grown less responsible and less responsive to the communities that they are supposed to serve. In this same atmosphere hate speech thrives, as hate has developed as a profit-model for syndicated radio and cable television programs masquerading as “news.”
The Internet gives the illusion that news sources have increased, but in fact there are fewer journalists employed now than before. Moreover, on the Internet, speakers can hide in the cloak of anonymity, emboldened to say things that they may not say in the public eye. Even worse, sometimes anonymous Internet speakers hold their information out as news, leaving the public with the difficult job of discerning fact from fiction.
For these reasons, as the Commission deliberates how the public interest will be served in the digital age, it should consider the extent of hate speech in media, and its effects.
Click here to read the full comments.
NHMC's Petition for Inquiry on Hate Speech in Media; filed at the Federal Communications Commission in January 2009Thu, 02/18/2010 - 17:49 — admin
January 28, 2009
The National Hispanic Media Coalition (“NHMC”) requests that the Commission invite public comment on hate speech in the media, inquire into the extent and nature of hate speech, examine the effects of hate speech, including the relationship between hate speech in the media and hate crimes, and explore options for counteracting or reducing the negative effects of such speech.
Hate speech against vulnerable groups is pervasive in our media – it is not limited to a few isolated instances or any one media platform. Indeed, many large mainstream media corporations regularly air hate speech, and it is prolific on the Internet. Hate speech takes various forms, from words advocating violence to those creating a climate of hate towards vulnerable groups. Cumulatively, hate speech creates an environment of hate and prejudice that legitimizes violence against its targets.
Because the media has a powerful influence over people’s behavior and perceptions, it is not mere conjecture that hate speech over the media is producing concrete harms. As they have become the victims of more hate speech in media, hate crimes against Latinos have increased in frequency and in intensity. Indeed, hate crimes against Latinos have increased by 40% in just the last four years. And physical violence is not the only harm suffered at the hand of hate speech – studies show that such speech causes severe emotional and psychological distress to its targets. These harms may be particularly acute for Latino children given that children are uniquely susceptible to messages in the media.
In a September 2008 speech to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, then-Presidential candidate Barack Obama stated that
This election is about the 12 million people living in the shadows, the communities taking immigration enforcement into their own hands…they're counting on us to stop the hateful rhetoric filling our airwaves, rise above the fear and demagoguery, and finally enact comprehensive immigration reform.
NHMC applauds President Obama’s commitment to equality and justice, and therefore, respectfully requests that the FCC complement his efforts by initiating an inquiry into hate speech in the media.
The NHMC understands that those who would prefer hate speech to remain under the radar will claim that such an inquiry violates the First Amendment. No doubt they will raise the red herring of the restoration of the “fairness doctrine,” trying to divert the attention of the vast majority of Americans who find hate speech reprehensible. NHMC has not, of course, called for any such remedy, but merely the collection of information and data about hate speech in the media. By holding this inquiry, the FCC will shine the harsh light of truth on hate speech that has lurked in the shadows. This can only serve the highest interests of the First Amendment.
Click here to read the full filing.