Esteemed journalist Ray Suarez’s shocking departure from PBS’ “NewsHour” after over a decade as a senior correspondent should serve as a call to action to the Latino community to address the larger issue of ongoing lack of Latino inclusion at the publicly-funded broadcast network. In an interview, Suarez expressed that he “didn’t have much of a future with the broadcast,” that PBS News Hour “didn’t have much of a plan” for him, that his contributions in recent years were heavily minimized and marginalized many times over, and that his high-level responsibility “had all been gradually taken away.”
PBS’ historic under-inclusion of Latinos is reflected not only in its employment practices, with Latinos being overlooked for new projects and initiatives, but also the underrepresentation of Latinos in its programming, and an alarming lack of transparency about the situation. Given PBS’ lack of transparency, NHMC cannot know all facts pertaining to Latino inclusion at PBS. Here are the facts as NHMC understands them:
Recently, the National Latino Media Council, of which NHMC serves as secretariat, proposed the signing of an MOU to address PBS’ Latino diversity deficits. PBS rejected that MOU and proposed a vague and meaningless two paragraph offer in its place.
For years, National Latino Media Council member organizations have toiled, to no avail, to make PBS more responsive to the needs of the nation’s Latino population. NHMC calls on the Latino community to make it known to PBS that its casual indifference to Latino community concerns is flagrantly disrespectful and that it must expediently address these concerns and agree to the following remedial actions:
If PBS is not prepared to take these measures, NHMC will convene a meeting with National Latino Media Council members to consider whether public support and federal funds for PBS remain in the best interests of diverse communities and particularly the Latino community.
To voice your concern to PBS please contact Paula Kerger, president and CEO, at firstname.lastname@example.org (copy email@example.com) or 703-739-5000. To voice your concern to “NewsHour” please contact executive producer Linda Winslow at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-998-2175.
President & CEO National Hispanic Media Coalition
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.
Los Angeles, CA