2016 Candidates Asked to Close the Digital Divide in New Hispanic Public Policy Agenda

Document Includes Key Policy Priorities from National Hispanic Media Coalition to Modernize the Lifeline Program, Combat Hate Speech and Diversify Media Ownership 

Last week, the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) joined other leaders of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, which includes the nation's 40 preeminent Latino advocacy organizations, in releasing its 2016 Hispanic Public Policy Agenda and challenging each presidential candidate to respond. The 2016 agenda highlights issues of particular impact to Latino communities, and this year’s report lists key recommendations supported by NHMC to improve broadband access for people of color, modernize the Lifeline Program and make media more inclusive of Latinos. “This agenda, with broad support from the Latino community, confirms that closing the digital divide is of critical importance of people of color,” said Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition. “We need members of Congress, FCC commissioners and 2016 presidential contenders to realize that open and affordable access to communications is an urgent need and Latino voters across the country will be pressuring politicians to articulate concrete next steps for opening opportunities for communities of color to be heard online and on the airwaves.” Concerning broadband access, the Agenda recommends that policymakers:
  • Support ongoing modernization of the Lifeline Program at the FCC, to extend the phone service subsidy to cover broadband services and continually evolve to meet the needs of low-income consumers.
  • Fund English and Spanish language digital literacy campaigns and ensure that Latino outreach related to these campaigns is culturally relevant.
  • Promote competition in the broadband and mobile phone markets to lower prices and improve service.
  • Support the building of high-speed Internet infrastructure to improve connectivity in rural and underserved areas, schools, libraries, and community centers.
  • Support the FCC’s E-Rate Program, which currently subsidizes broadband access in schools and libraries.
  • Continue to convene the Broadband Opportunity Council, comprised of 25 Executive Branch agencies and departments, to explore further, cross-agency action to improve broadband deployment, adoption, and competition.
Concerning policies to expand and promote media ownership diversity, the Agenda recommends that policymakers:
  • Encourage a comprehensive FCC inquiry into the extent and effects of hate speech in media, and/or an update to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) 1993 report to Congress, The Role of Telecommunications in Hate Crimes.
  • Undertake efforts to discontinue the use of inflammatory language about Latinos and immigrants by the media in order to help prevent the fueling of hate speech and intolerance.
  • Support FCC policies to expand and promote media ownership diversity.
  • Oppose broadcast consolidation as a race-neutral way to open doors for diverse owners to enter the media marketplace, including but not limited to unreasonable covert consolidation, such as through Joint Sales Agreements and other vehicles, designed to circumvent FCC ownership limits.
  • Ensure that the FCC is collecting thorough data on diversity of media ownership and employment. Require that the FCC provide this data to the public in a transparent and easily searchable format that breaks the numbers down by race and ethnicity.
  • Support congressional action to reinstate the “minority tax certificate,” which increased ownership diversity substantially before it was abandoned in the late 1990s.
Contact: Christina DiPasquale, 202.716.1953, press@balestramedia.com


The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a media advocacy and civil rights organization for the advancement of Latinos, working towards a media that is fair and inclusive of Latinos, and towards universal, affordable, and open access to communications. Established in 1991, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) is a nonpartisan association of major Hispanic national organizations and distinguished Hispanic leaders from all over the nation. NHLA's mission calls for unity among Latinos around the country to provide the Hispanic community with greater visibility and a clearer, stronger influence over our country's affairs. NHLA brings together Hispanic leaders to establish policy priorities that address, and raise public awareness of, the major issues affecting the Latino community and the nation as a whole. NHLA is composed of 30 of the leading national and regional Hispanic civil rights and public policy organizations, other elected officials, and prominent Hispanic Americans. NHLA coalition members represent the diversity of the Latino community - Americans and immigrants of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and other Hispanic descents.]]>

National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a woman-led 501(c)(3) non-profit civil and human rights organization that was founded to eliminate hate, discrimination, and racism toward the Latino communities.
© 2024 National Hispanic Media Coalition // communications@nhmc.org // o. (626) 792-6462
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