Washington, D.C. — The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), a coalition of 39 of the nation’s preeminent Latino organizations, issued a letter today to the heads of the nation’s major English-language broadcasters calling on them to take action to increase the number of Hispanic guests on their Sunday morning talk shows and to diversify the subject matter they are invited to discuss.
A recent report by Media Matters for America found that only seven percent of guests on Sunday Talk Shows were Latino. While an increase from the two percent representation found in a 2011 report by the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, recent figures still fall far short of 17 percent – the proportion of Latinos in the general population.
NHLA offered to work with the networks to improve their Latino representation, and reminded the network executives of the work of the National Hispanic Media Coalition to identify and train a number of Latino experts in various fields who could serve as guests on their shows.
“Excluding the broad array of Latino talent and expertise from programming that sets the agenda for our public debate results in distorting the image of our community’s contributions to the life of our nation. It’s time for this to change,” said Hector Sanchez, NHLA Chair and Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.
“The issue is becoming less about diversification and more about normalization of guests and panelists on Sunday Talk Shows, based on changed demographics that has created a new general market,” said Felix Sanchez, Chairman and Co-founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts. “Cooperative engagement will achieve this reachable goal,” added Sanchez.
“It is irresponsible to exclude the perspectives of 17 percent of the U.S. population from the airwaves,” said Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition. “I look forward to working with these networks to help their programming reflect and serve our nation’s diversity.”
For the full text of NHLA’s letter to network executives, click here or copy and paste this web address into your browser: http://nationalhispanicleadership.org/NHLA_Letter_SMTS_2015.pdf
Established in 1991, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (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. In 2013, NHLA launched the Latinos United for Immigration Reform campaign. For more information, please visit www.nationalhispanicleadership.org and LatinosUnited.org and follow @NHLAgenda.]]>