The Media is the Mensaje: Alternatives to Hispanic Themed Mediocrity

NBC/Telemundo throws a bone at Hispanic viewers with a monthlong salute to mediocrity
NBC/Telemundo throws a bone at Hispanic viewers with a monthlong salute to mediocrity

Hispanic Heritage month is coming in just a couple of weeks, and maybe I’m being unfair, but given the major media’s track record I’m not expecting much from NBC/ Telemundo’s’ “Viva Today” programming. Undoubtedly there will be much huffing and puffing dedicated to just how unthreatening and willing to fit in Hispanics are, and how success is pretty much based on erasing everything about being Latino/a in public so that the slow-moving thought process of the morning-show audience can keep up.

But yes, there are alternatives to corporate media’s bottom lines, and I just wanted to offer a couple here. This month there is an important anthology about Latino/as in media being published on NYU Press, edited by Arlene Dávila and Yeidy Rivero called Contemporary Latino/a Media. I have a chapter in it about Latino/as in alternative media, and there are many other stellar academics and journalists who have submitted fascinating work. Here’s the cover so you will be able to find it in the bookstore:

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In case you missed it, Frances Negrón Muntanter from the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race released a report this summer called “The Latino Media Gap,” and i interviewed her about it, publishing it on my site and the fine one run by NACLA Report on the Americas. Just last week I was invited by Oscar Fernández of the Latino Media Collective, based in Washington, D.C. to appear on his weekly radio show on Pacifica station WPFW. I’m going to post the mp3 of the hourlong show here. We discussed the report, the Sofia Vergara pedestal controversy from the Emmys, the slow death of the Latin Lover stereotype, and the reasons why I don’t necessarily need or want to see sitcoms about Hispanics. There are moments of rant, yet moments of lightness and hope. My thanks to Oscar for inviting me.

 

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