April & May 2015

In this edition of NHMC at work

  • NHMC and NHLA Meet with Network News Executives
  • NHMC Testifies Before U.S. Senate to Close Digital Divide
  • Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition Urges Talent Agencies to Diversify
  • NHMC MediaCon
  • Now Accepting Submissions for NHMC TV Writers Program
  • NHMC’s Michael Scurato Appointed to the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee
  • NHMC Continues Work to Preserve Net Neutrality
  • NHMC Work at Intersection of Civil Rights & Privacy
NHMC and NHLA Meet with Network News Executives on Sunday Morning News Diversity tvLast month NHMC, along with other representatives from the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) and National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, visited with news presidents and executives from ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN and Fox News to discuss the lack of Latino guests on their Sunday morning talk shows. The meetings follow a recent Media Matters report unveiling a shocking lack of Latino voices on Sunday morning news talk shows. NHMC urged the networks to improve their Latino representation, and reminded the executives about NHMC’s Latino Experts List. NHMC produced the Latino Expert List as the culmination of a two-year project to identify and train over 100 Latino experts in various fields who are prepared to serve as guests on local and national news shows. NHMC Testifies Before U.S. Senate to Close Digital Divide jessica1For years NHMC has advocated that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) modernize Lifeline, which subsidizes telephone service in low-income households, to include access to broadband. Broadband is required for everything from applying for jobs to doing homework to communicating with far away relatives, and it has blossomed into a tool that is necessary to fully participate in modern society. Latino creators are proliferating over the Internet, monetizing their content and improving the image of Latinos in the modern media system. Cost is the largest barrier to adopting broadband for Latinos and for people under 65. Only 53% of American Latinos have broadband at home. On May 28, 2015, NHMC praised the FCC’s decision to initiate a process to modernize Lifeline for the digital age. In addition, the Senate and the House released companion bills called the Broadband Adoption Act. The Act instructs the FCC to modernize Lifeline to fully support broadband services and take additional steps to ensure the health of Lifeline. And on June 2, 2014, NHMC’s Jessica J. Gonzalez testified in support of Lifeline before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet. “As a former Lifeline recipient, I know firsthand how effective and life-changing it can be,” she said. The hearing, “Lifeline: Improving Accountability and Effectiveness,” is available for viewing here. “[B]roadband Internet access has become an essential service, and is critical to promoting the economy, public health, public safety, and education. I can think of no better way of improving the effectiveness of Lifeline than by supporting the FCC’s efforts to modernize it for the broadband age,” Gonzalez told the subcommittee. Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition Urges Talent Agencies to Diversify DeadlineOffensiveArticle2015A multi-ethnic coalition of advocacy groups is calling on Hollywood’s talent agencies to meet to discuss how they can work together to increase representation of people of color. Talent firms remain a barrier to full inclusion of the people of color in television and film. According to the 2014 Hollywood Diversity Report by UCLA’s Bunche Center for African American Studies, “minority talent remained underrepresented on every front at the dominant agencies,” as directors, leads, creators, and writers in film and television. According to the report, major talent agencies wield “tremendous influence,” which continues to “shape the labor market of the film and television industry.” Without representation, especially in the top talent firms, people of color are denied a fair chance at advancing their careers in the entertainment industry. The coalition, which includes American Indians in Film and Television, Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, NAACP Hollywood Bureau, and National Hispanic Media Coalition, has contacted major talent agencies for meetings. Since 1999, the coalition has met annually with the top four television networks – ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC – pushing for better inclusion of minorities both in front of and behind the camera to more accurately reflect the reality of America’s diverse population. The Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition’s call to meet with the talent agencies comes after entertainment industry outlet Deadline Hollywood ran an offensive article on the casting of people of color on television shows. The article included quotations from unnamed talent agents who complained about fewer opportunities for their white clients, suggesting that those clients were being looked over in favor of less qualified people of color. This prompted a widespread outcry, including a number of Hollywood celebrities of color who took to Twitter to speak out against the article. Deadline issued an apology on March 29. MediaConNHMC MediaCon: July 9, 2015
MediaCon2015Come join us on July 9th at NHMC MediaCon, the premier annual event uniquely designed to advance the image and careers of Latinos in media.  It convenes 300 media and entertainment industry executives and insiders, Latino industry professionals, as well as Latinos looking to break into the industry to discuss emerging trends in entertainment and digital media, and best practices and tools as a means to help elevate Latinos in the industry.
This year’s schedule includes panels with and about literary managers, executive producers and digital media executives and content creators. A keynote interview will kick off the afternoon and the day will end with a closing keynote and networking reception. Stay tuned for announcements on panelists and keynote speakers, coming soon! Visit www.nhmc.org/mediacon for more information and to register.  Attention Writers: Apply for the Fall 2015: NHMC Television Writers Program The National Hispanic Media Coalition Television Writers Program prepares Latinos for writing jobs on shows at major television networks. For more information: www.nhmc.org/writersprogramDo you want to write for the small screen? Apply now to be part of a program where 25% of participants have been staffed on shows at the following networks: ABC/Disney, NBC, CBS, FOX, Nickelodeon, CW, BET, LATV, VH1 and NUVOtv. The NHMC Television Writers Program is a direct response to the lack of diverse writers in television and is inviting all Latino television writers looking to hone their skills to apply for the five week workshop that focuses on the writing of an original TV pilot or a spec episode of a series currently on TV, conducted in an environment that simulates a TV Writers Room. Just recently the following Writers Program alumni have been staffed on shows for the upcoming television season Diana Mendez, Rosewood (Fox) Mercedes Valle, Elena of Avalor (Disney Junior) Silvia Olivas, Elena of Avalor (Disney Junior) Emmylou Diaz, Jane the Virgin (CW) Danny Tolli, The Catch (ABC) Davah Avena, Devious Maids (Lifetime)
NHMC’s Michael Scurato Appointed to the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee  Mike Congratulations to Michael Scurato, NHMC’s policy director, for being selected to represent NHMC on the FCC Consumer Advisory Committee. The Consumer Advisory Committee makes recommendations to the FCC about consumer issues and facilitates consumer participation in FCC proceedings. One of the Committee’s first tasks will be assisting the FCC with implementing the Net Neutrality Order. NHMC Continues Work to Preserve Net Neutrality  The FCC’s Network Neutrality rules were published in the Federal Register on April 12, 2015, and are set to go into effect on June 12th. However, several telecommunications companies and associations filed lawsuits seeking to overturn the rules. In addition to the court actions, the new rules face pushback from several Republican members of Congress who have introduced bills seeking to overturn the rules and/or limit the FCC’s authority to enforce them. NHMC is keeping a close eye on the litigation and legislation and will continue educating policymakers about their important role in ensuring an even-playing field online for Latinos and other consumers. NHMC Work at Intersection of Civil Rights & Privacy  In light of recent incidents of police misconduct, law enforcement using excessive force, and arrestees dying en route to jail, there has been a move toward requiring law enforcement officers to wear body cameras. On May 15, 2015, NHMC, along with a coalition of civil rights, media justice, and privacy groups, signed-on to the Civil Rights Principles on Body Worn Cameras. The principles refer to mobile cameras worn and operated by law enforcement personnel. The five principles urge policy- and lawmakers to 1) develop camera policies in public; 2) commit to a set of narrow and well-defined purposes for the cameras and their footage; 3) specify clear operational policies for recording, retention, and access; 4) make footage available to promote accountability; and 5) preserve the independent evidentiary value of officer reports by prohibiting officers from viewing footage before filing report. NHMC is Hiring!  nhmchiring   NHMC seeks an experienced communications director to develop and implement a communications and marketing plan to increase NHMC’s visibility and brand, and to strategically advance NHMC’s advocacy, programs and events. This is a senior position. Candidates must have at least 5-10 years of experience, including social media experience. Click here for the full job description and application details.   Rising Creators Project Update BabyFirst In November NHMC launched the Rising Creators Project in collaboration with BabyFirst Americas. The winner of this contest will receive a contract with BabyFirst to produce his or her own children’s television program which BabyFirst will air for a minimum of two years across its platforms. Deadline for submissions was March 15th. Stay tuned – NHMC will announce the winner in June. NHMC Welcomes New Communications Assistant valeria   NHMC recently welcomed Valeria Sanchez, a 2015 graduate from Mount Saint Mary’s University, as its communications assistant. Valeria previously interned with NHMC and has worked with other companies and organizations such as BH Cosmetics, The Hive Motion Comic Studio, and MSMU’s MFA in Film and Television program. To read more about Valeria, click here. Farewell to NHMC’s Social Media and Communications Strategist In May, after nearly two years of great service, NHMC’s social media and communications strategist, Brian Pacheco, left to begin the next chapter of his life as a communications consultant. NHMC wishes him the best of luck! 3rd Annual Latino Scene Showcase _MG_5003.CroppedNHMC is pleased to announce that its 3rd Annual Latino Scene Showcase will take place on October 21 at El Portal Theater in North Hollywood,CA. The showcase will highlight talented Latino writers and actors, and provide the opportunity for industry professionals to discover diverse talent. The showcase has been a success with hundreds of agents, managers and network executives in attendance. Scenes written by the following NHMC Writers Program alumni will appear: Sabrina Almeida Yolie Cortez Maria Escobedo Daniel Marquez Spiro Skentzos Leslie Valdes Gabriel Vallejo For all of you aspiring actors out there, a casting call will go out through Actors Access on June 15th and the deadline to submit is June 26. Live auditions will take place July 17-19. For more information e-mail Nilda Muhr at nmuhr@nhmc.org. NALIP Media Summit, June 25-28, W Hollywood HotelNalip Media Summit The largest annual gathering of Latinos in the media field nationwide, the NALIP Media Summit, is hosted by the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, and presented by HBO. This year’s Summit will feature a keynote conversation with Eva Longoria, an inaugural opening of the Latino Media Fest, and a variety of studio sessions featuring PBS, NBC, and Time Warner. Register at a special partner rate TODAY!
In Memoriam
charles-bentonOn April 29, 2015, Charles Benton, 84, passed away. Mr. Benton established the Benton Foundation in 1981, which fights to bridge the digital divide and works to ensure media and telecommunications serve the public interest and democracy. In a statement offering condolences, Jessica J. Gonzalez, NHMC’s executive vice president and general counsel, said, “The legacy of Charles Benton will echo throughout history…He was a pioneer in working towards universal, affordable broadband access, leading to policies that have already begun to connect poor Americans to this critical and life-changing resource…”

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.
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