As the holiday season begins and the New Year is upon us, I would like to take this opportunity to update you on NHMC’s 2009 accomplishments, and inform you of our 2010 Federal Policy Priorities.
NHMC continues to fight against the harmful effects of hate speech in media. FBI statistics indicate that hate crimes against Latinos spiked 40% between 2003 and 2007, and continued to rise in 2008. Many in our community are in grave danger and will continue to be unless the government intervenes. Sadly, I could rattle off a list of anti-Latino hate crime victims, many of whom suffered grave physical injuries – or worse – were killed. Instead, however, I will tell you what NHMC has sought to do about it. In early 2009 we filed a petition for inquiry with the Federal Communications, asking the agency to examine the extent and effects of hate speech in media, and analyze if and how the government can counteract its negative impacts. At the same time we sent a letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, asking it to update its 1993 report, The Role of Telecommunications in Hate Crimes. We also commissioned the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center to initiate a soon-to-be-released study on the correlation between hate speech and hate crimes. We have followed up on these efforts with meetings at the FCC, the NTIA and on the Hill, but unfortunately we are still awaiting government action. Finally, we helped lead the effort to remove Lou Dobbs, one of the worst anti-Latino pundits, from CNN. I met with CNN’s President, Jon Klein, the Friday before Lou Dobbs left CNN, urging him to either require that Dobbs return to being a credible journalist or to fire him immediately.
In addition to hate speech, we have also been working on a wide range of media and telecommunications policies, urging the government to ensure that such policies positively impact Latinos and other communities of color. We hired a full-time media and telecommunications attorney to work on legal and regulatory issues and submit filings as necessary. We advocated for media ownership regulations because we know that they limit consolidation and enable minority entry into the industry. Jessica Gonzalez, our Policy Counsel, was invited to testify at the FCC on this very issue on November 4th. We also promoted the Local Community Radio Act, because we know that more LPFM stations mean more access to the airwaves for Latinos. The Act is out of committee in both the House and the Senate, and we expect a floor vote in each house to come very soon. In addition, we supported the Performance Rights Act, as we believe it is only fair for performers to receive compensation for the songs that they make popular, and that recent amendments to the bill ensure that small minority broadcasters are not ambushed with unaffordable royalty fees. Finally, we supported the FCC’s efforts to advance a discussion about the propriety of network neutrality regulations because we believe that an open and nondiscriminatory Internet is essential, as it provides another forum for Latinos to tell their own stories without gatekeepers to decide which stories should be heard.
NHMC is emerging as the premiere Latino authority on media and telecommunications policy, and in 2010 we will continue to fight for Latinos to have a seat at the table on important issues that materialize in this field. In the following pages you will find a summary of our 2010 Federal Policy Priorities. In addition, rest assured that NHMC continues the work of creating opportunities in front and back of camera in all broadcast and cable networks so that our stories and characters are presented creatively and accurately. It is a huge agenda that NHMC carries and God willing we will accomplish much of what we’ve taken on.
Hate Speech in Media Update
As you may remember, in January of 2009 we initiated a three-pronged strategy to combat hate speech in media. We 1) filed a petition for inquiry at the FCC, asking the agency to open a docket on hate speech in media; 2) requested that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) update its 1993 report, The Role of Telecommunications in Hate Crimes; and 3) in partnership with the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, began a pilot study that developed a scientific methodology to quantify hate speech in media.
At this time we are still waiting for the FCC and the NTIA to take formal action. In the mean time, the following has transpired:
April 7- The Department of Homeland Security released an extremism assessment; the assessment noted that various right-wing extremists “have adopted the immigration issue as a call to action, rallying point, and recruiting tool” and that “anti-immigration or strident pro-enforcement fervor has been directed against specific groups” and “has the potential to incite individuals or small groups toward violence.” Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh decried the report, saying, “There is not one instance they can cite as evidence where any of these right-wing groups have done anything.”
May 31 – Dr. George Tiller was gunned down in Wichita, KS, while serving as an usher at church; Tiller had been repeatedly referred to as “Dr. Tiller the Baby Killer” on mainstream media outlets.
June 11 – White supremacist James von Brunn shot and killed an African American security guard at the Holocaust museum in Washington, DC; hateful messages against Jews and African Americans were found in von Brunn’s vehicle.
June 12 – Minutemen leader Shawna Forde murdered 9-year-old Brisenia Flores and her father in Arivaca, AZ; Forde broke into their home dressed as a law enforcement officer, looking for money and drugs to finance her vigilante border watch group.
July 2 – Forty civil rights and public interest organizations requested that the FCC act on NHMC’s petition for inquiry.
July 28 – Neo-Nazi radio host Hal Turner was arrested for his Internet postings encouraging violence against three 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judges; the postings included photographs, phone numbers, work address and room numbers of the judges, along with a photo of the building in which they work and a map of its location; Turner wrote, “Let me be the first to say this plainly: These judges deserve to be killed.”
August 11 – Forty organizations submitted a joint letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, requesting that it update its 1993 report on The Role of Telecommunications in Hate Crimes.
In late August and early September, countless advertisers fled from Glenn Beck’s cable news program after learning that their money was supporting his racist tirades.
September 23 – Mario Vera was viciously beaten by three men yelling racial slurs.Vera, a hardworking, taxpaying, family man, is now unable to speak or even recognize his own child due to the injuries he sustained in the attack. This was the second anti-Latino hate crime in under a year in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY.
November 11 – Lou Dobbs, who is well-known for spewing misinformation about immigrants, left CNN following pressure from NHMC and many other organizations that value accurate and fair reporting.
While we were pleased to hear that President Obama wishes to reform immigration in 2010, we fear that these vicious crimes will proliferate once the violent rhetoric surrounding the immigration debate reignites before the government addresses hate speech. NHMC will continue to organize and push for government action on this issue until it is tackled.
In addition, we will continue to monitor and push back against regular purveyors of hate speech, a method that has grown increasingly effective in the past few months. In August of this year NHMC sent a letter to CNN’s President insisting that either Lou Dobbs be held the standards of a credible journalist, or be removed from the network. Dobbs’ continuous misinformation and hate speech aimed at the Latino community and others had endured long enough, and we are pleased to announce that with the collaboration of various organizations that seek truth and integrity in media, NHMC successfully convinced CNN to drop Dobbs from its program line-up. Dobbs announced his departure from CNN on his final show, on November 11th.
How you can help: Call your Senators and Representative and ask them to send letters to the FCC and NTIA requesting that the agencies take action on NHMC’s requests. You can also write directly to the FCC and the NTIA to express your concerns about the relationship between hate speech in media and the violent rise in hate crimes against Latinos.
Letters to the FCC should be addressed to:
Mr. Julius Genachowski
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20554
Letters to the NTIA should be addressed to:
Mr. Lawrence Strickling
Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information Administrator
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
United States Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20230
The Writers Program
The Fall 2009 Television Writers Program, an intensive five-week workshop sponsored by ABC/Disney, NBC, Southwest Airlines and the National Latino Media Council (NLMC) began this month.
This year’s program was the most competitive we have ever had. This program will sharpen the skills even further of the ten experienced writers selected this year and the participating network executives will be mentoring them with the goal of bringing as many of them into writing positions in the entertainment industry.
By presenting its 7th Annual Latino Television Writers Program workshop – which runs from November 9th through December 11th in Los Angeles, California – the NLMC continues to strengthen its commitment to increasing Latino employment in the media industry.
The writing program helps participants hone their craft and establish relationships with key Industry executives. During the workshop, participants write at least one spec script of a current primetime television series.
Participants in the 2009 workshop have also earned the unique opportunity of having their scripts reviewed by Network Television Executives. Those Writers that demonstrate particular promise will be subsequently mentored by these same Network Executives with the goal of hiring them to write for one of their television shows.
This year’s writers include the following Stuart Altman, Zach Cannon, Gustavo T.Cruz, Rick Escamilla, Vince Navarro, Manuel Nieto, Jr., Silvia Olivas (Producer, Moesha), Sierra TellerOrnelas (2009 IAIA Writers Workshop participant), Spiro Skentzos and Shelly Acosta Smith (2002 Feature Writing Fellow).
2010 Impact Awards Gala
Don’t forget to mark your Blackberries for Friday, February 26, 2010 – that’s when the NHMC will host its 13th Annual Impact Awards Gala. This annual black tie event at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills brings together important media luminaries from both in front and behind the camera to recognize Latino talent and cultural influence across the industry. Past award recipients include Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, George Lopez, Andy Garcia, Roselyn Sanchez, Jorge Ramos, Moctezuma Esparza, Vicki Carr and the indomitable Edward James Olmos.
“We are once again delighted to present Impact Awards to those extraordinary individuals who continue to express our ethnic richness, talents and culture on the big and small screen,” explained Alex Nogales, President & CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, “this is also a night to recognize and applaud those corporations who have demonstrated great commitment to the Latino community as well.”
For more information on the Impact Awards Gala or to purchase a table, please contact Inez Gonzalez at email@example.com.
7th Annual Local Impact Awards Luncheon
The NHMC hosted its annual Local Impact Awards Luncheon on September 24th and not only celebrated another successful event, but also the uniqueness and diverse contributions of this year’s honorees.
This year’s honorees included filmmakers Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar who produced Made in L.A, an Emmy-winning documentary that rewrites the story of Latina immigrants at a crucial moment. By sharing lived personal experiences, the film proves to be media that builds empathy and creates understanding. Made in L.A.illustrates how Latina immigrants come to the U.S. not to take advantage of the welfare system, as stereotypes and opponents to reform decry, but to contribute to the community and build a better life for their families – the oldest story in the U.S. The producers were recognized for their use of a film to bring an important and relevant policy issue to the forefront.
Held at the beautiful Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, the Local Impact Awards luncheon honors those individuals or entities whose achievements, generosity of spirit, or courage-under-fire greatly benefits the Southern California Latino community. Laura Diaz, the lovely and talented news anchor from CBS 2 News, went solo this time-after five years- as our Master of Ceremonies.
Other honorees included British Petroleum America, Inc. received the award for Outstanding Service and Commitment to the Latino Community. Award-winning journalist Dave Lopez, the Orange County Correspondent and a General Assignment Reporter for CBS 2/KCAL 9 received the Excellence in Broadcast Journalism Local Impact Award.
Washington, D.C. Update
In October of this year NHMC hired Jessica Gonzalez – no relation to Inez – as its new DC-based Policy Counsel. Prior to joining NHMC Jessica represented the organization on the issues of hate speech and media ownership while she served as a staff attorney at Georgetown Law’s Institute for Public Representation. “Jessica is a great addition to our team,” said Alex Nogales, “with her legal expertise and experience she will hit the ground running.” Jessica will take over Inez’s policy work, and Inez will return to Pasadena in her new role as Executive Vice President focusing on NHMC’s big picture agenda. Inez’s contact information will remain the same, and Jessica can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since the Obama appointees and new members of Congress have settled into their roles inWashington many of our issues have gained momentum over the past few months. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is in the process of developing a broadband plan for the future, to be delivered to Congress in February 2010. It has also initiated a separate proceeding to ensure that the Internet remains open and neutral. The 2010 quadrennial review of the FCC’s media ownership rules just got underway. In addition, the Local Community Radio Act and the Performance Rights Act are both moving forward on the Hill. NHMC was pleased to see that Congress took a courageous move in passing new, stricter hate crime legislation in October. Of course, much more work must be done, but we are confident that we will see government action on all that we fight for before or soon after the New Year.
Our number one priority continues to be our fight against the harmful effects of hate speech in media. However, NHMC has a full load of policies on which it is working to ensure that Latinos and other communities of color have a voice in Washington, DC. Those include diversification of media ownership, low power FM, public interest obligations for broadcasters, universal broadband, network neutrality and performance rights.
Go to Media Policy Priorities on this website for full details of NHMC’s policy priorities
Chita Rivera who received a Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of 16 recipients of the award that honors contributions to world peace, culture and other U.S. interests.
Carolina Lightcap who has been promoted to President, Disney Channels Worldwide. Ms. Lightcap will assume her new position within the Disney/ABC Television Group effective immediately and will relocate from Buenos Aires to Burbank.
Mark Lloyd who joined the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the newly created post of Associate General Counsel/Chief Diversity Officer.
Gloria Montaño Greene the new Director of the NALEO Educational Fund’s Washington, DC office, where she will lead the policy development and advocacy activities of the organization on Census 2010, naturalization, comprehensive immigration reform and appointment issues.
Mark Valadez a Writers Fellow who was brought on staff on ABC’s “Scrubs” on ABC in July. Mark credits the NLMC Writers Program with getting him this far.
Katrina Elias, writer, filmmaker and theater producer – Presente!
Katrina was an alumnus of the NLMC Writers Program. She wrote Red Colombian Sky a one-act stage-play in early 2004 that was immediately selected for production by the 6th Annual Hispanic Playwright’s Festival of Fort Worth, and soon after adapted for a short 35MM film renamed Madam Marina that premiered in 2005 and marked Katrina’s directorial debut.
Chatting with Kids about Being Online
With kids living more of their lives online, parents have been looking for ways to talk with them about being safe – just as they talk with younger kids about safely crossing the street, or with older kids about safe driving.
For parents who may feel outpaced by tech-savvy kids, the Federal Trade Commission has help. Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online gives parents the tools they need to start conversations with kids – whether they’re toddlers or teens – about topics from social networking to cyberbullying, sexting to file-sharing.
Check out the guide at www.OnGuardOnline.gov/topics/net-cetera.aspx. To order free copies in English or Spanish from the FTC, go to http://bulkorder.ftc.gov.
For more information about protecting kids online or partnering with the FTC to spread the word, email OnGuardOnline@ftc.gov.
Apply for 2010 Google Policy Fellowship
The NHMC Washington Office will be participating in the Google Policy Fellowship program for the summer of 2010. Google Policy Fellows work for ten weeks during the summer at NHMC Washington or at other public interest organizations involved in media reform.
This year’s host organizations include: American Library Association, Cato Institute, Center for Democracy and Technology, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Internet Education Foundation, Media Access Project, New America Foundation, Public Knowledge, Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, The Citizen Lab, Creative Commons, Future of Music Coalition, Progress and Freedom Foundation, Technology Policy Institute. Host organizations new in 2010 are The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and National Hispanic Media Coalition.
Check out the Google Policy Fellow website for pertinent details. Applications are due Monday, December 28, 2009.
Smart Television Alliance Sweepstakes
NHMC is a part of the Smart Television Alliance, a coalition of national nonprofit organizations united by a shared belief that television can be a smart family resource IF parents and caregivers know how and when to put it to good use.
This month, Smart TV is hosting the Smart TV, Smarter Me Sweepstakes (http://www.smarttelevisionalliance.org/be-smarter) giving you and your family the chance to win great prizes from Best Buy, TiVo and Parents’ Choice Foundation by simply entering your family’s favorite television programs that help them learn. You’re just a click away from making your TV watching “smarter” and winning great prizes.
Full Power Licenses Coming this February
Would your community benefit from a non-commercial radio station that features your neighbors’ voices and broadcasts local news, music, and public affairs? For a few communities across the country, now may be the opportunity to start such a station.
The FCC is opening up another window for Full Power Non-Commercial Educational (NCE) licenses from February 19-26, 2010. Unlike the last NCE window, these licenses are only available in 65 specific locations across the country. For more information and to find out if there is a radio frequency available near you, go to the Prometheus Radio Project.]]>
The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a 35-year-old non-profit organization that builds bridges, creates opportunities, resources, and connects Latinx talent with the entertainment industry.