To prepare and place Latino writers at major television networks, the National Latino Media Council has opened the submission period for “The NLMC Television Writers Program.”
Participants’ scripts will be read by network executives to pick the most promising. Those writers selected will be interviewed and mentored by the executives. Those interested must be able to write at least one half-hour comedy or one-hour dramatic TV script in English within a five week period. The program, to be conducted in Burbank, Calif., runs this year from Oct. 8 to Nov.
CNN en Español looks to appeal the growing U.S. Latino community by redesigning its news show lineup in April. Changes include a live three-hour morning program “Café CNN,” a money-management show called “CNN Dinero,” and “Conclusiones” a late-night wrap-up. “CNN Investiga,” which resembles CBS’s “60 Minutes”, is set for Sunday evenings. NEW APPROACH
Mark López, who heads Google’s Hispanic unit, says he’s planning a different approach to the U.S. Hispanic market, placing greater emphasis on cultural affinity. The strategy already is being employed by networks such as Univisión and Telemundo.
Response by the Latino media to President Obama’s Jan. 25 State of the Union speech was, for the most part, a positive one, with headlines such as “Obama pide esfuerzo bipartidista para ganar el futuro,” found in Univisión.com
Univisión and Galavisión offered voice-over translation of the live speech. As did other print and broadcast media, San Antonio’s weekly La Prensa highlighted a number of issues of greatest concern to the Spanish-speaking community. It stressed, “Immigration reform and the DREAM Act are still priorities of President Barack Obama, according to statements from the White House,” and continued, “This is the third time that the President defends the need for immigration reform in a speech before Congress.”
With education being at the top of the list as the means to “win the future,” Obama took the opportunity to mention the “hundreds of thousands of students excelling in our schools who are not American citizens.”
He urged Congress to work in harmony in addressing once and for all the issues of illegal immigration and to “stop expelling talented and responsible young people who could be staffing our research labs or starting a new business, further enriching this nation.”
In a column syndicated by Hispanic Link News Service, José de la Isla, author of The Rise of Hispanic Political Power, saw the President’s comments as “an interesting juxtaposition of student situations.”
“Had the DREAM Act passed, the ‘best and brightest” U.S. resident students it covered already would have been home” de la Isla said. In Obama’s plan for innovation, research for cleaner energy technologies plays a big role to increase job opportunities and compete with other nations.
Thirty students from the University of Arizona and New York University collaborated on a documentary on challenges faced by immigrants and communities along the U.S.-Mexico border. Their “Beyond the Border Project” was developed by Dr. Celeste González de Bustamante of UA’s School of Journalism and NYU’s Yvonne Latty of Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. To view the project, visit http://pavementpieces.com/tag/border/
Historic international Mexican radio station IMER, shut down by financial troubles in 2004, is back. It debuted in 1969 and joined the Instituto Mexicano de la Radio in 1983. Now it varies coverage in Spanish, English, French and indigenous languages.
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists announced Nov.9 winners of its video contest “Tell Us Your Story.” Jackie Díaz of Silver Spring, Md., won in the professional category, and Paula Machado of Central Florida University won in the student category. In the announcement Ada Alvarez wrote, “As journalists, we tell stories every day. We represent those who wouldn’t have a voice if no one told their story. This time, 15 people told theirs.”
NAHJ is increasing its efforts to return to financial stability. Its 2010 convention did not produce enough revenue.
COVERAGE OF LATINOS
Although the Hispanic community is receiving news coverage in major media outlets, the information listeners and readers receive is often “event-driven,” with Hispanics just one of many elements. An analysis by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Pew Hispanic Center covering Feb. 9-Aug. 9, 2009, found that 18% of the stories studied (645 out of 34,452) “contained substantial references to Hispanics. The nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court gained the most news coverage, followed by the Mexican Drug War, H1N1 outbreak and Immigration.
TOUGHER ACTION SOUGHT
The Society of Professional Journalists has issued a letter to several U.S. and Mexican officials demanding stronger measures to ensure the safety of journalists in Mexico. Since 2000, 59 have been killed in that country. The drug wars there claimed 2,600 lives in 2009, by official estimates. SPJ president Kevin Smith and its international committee chairwoman Ronnie Lovler wrote to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Mexico’s ambassador to the United States Arturo Casamitjana, and other officials, noting that as the violence increases, so does fear-motivated self-censorship. Editors and reporters from newspapers in Nuevo Laredo and Cuidad Juárez informed SPJ that they no longer publish articles “beyond what’s on the police reports.”
The complete letter and an accompanying news release can be found on SPJ’s website: www.spj.org.