National Hispanic Media Coalition to Poll Thousands about Hate Speech in Media

Pasadena,CA — The National Hispanic Media Coalition, NHMC, is ramping up its public campaign to address hate speech in media. During the next phase of the campaign, NHMC will publicize a number of studies completed by the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center and conduct a nationwide poll to further develop research findings. This project is funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan.

“We want to move the national conversation about hate speech in media from the sidelines to center stage. The goal is to shine a spotlight on this very harmful problem, and encourage media outlets to self-regulate. Besides the academic studies and the poll, we will request a Congressional hearing on the issue and continue our campaign urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to examine the prevalence and the effects of hate speech in media,” states Alex Nogales, President and CEO of NHMC.

Since 2006, NHMC has been tracking the increase of hate speech against Latinos and studying the relationship between hate speech and the increase in anti-Latino hate crimes. According to FBI statistics, between 2003 and 2007 there was a 40% rise in hate crimes against Latinos.  In California alone, anti-Latino hate crimes increased 47% from 2009 to 2010.

“This country has embodied a fallacy, the belief in racial hierarchy for longer than it has been a country. And we have to work together to address this belief system, especially when it comes to how it’s impacting our children and their future,” says Dr. Gail C. Christopher, Vice-President for Program Strategy.  “The National Hispanic Media Coalition and their work plays a key role in strengthening awareness and developing viable solutions to address anti-Hispanic sentiments in the media.”

As part of the public campaign, NHMC will unveil the findings of three groundbreaking academic studies from the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. The studies provide a methodology of analyzing hate speech through a number of different avenues. The academic studies will present verifiable data on the impact that hate speech has on individuals and confirm the need to establish best practices. NHMC intends for civil discussion to prevail, reducing racist speech that harms children’s cognitive development and feelings of self-worth.

The national poll, complimenting the studies, will give a snapshot of how hate speech can impact behavior. The poll will consist of 15-minute telephone surveys of 1,000 individuals to establish a baseline understanding of the general population’s attitude towards Latinos. It will also identify the most prevalent stereotypes and determine the origins of the messages that reinforce those beliefs. During the second stage of the poll, NHMC will conduct a web-based, 20-minute survey of 3,000 non-Latinos that will test the effects of negative and positive media images on the prevalence of negative beliefs and sentiments with regard to Latinos.

“Many well-known media personalities engage in hate speech and enjoy huge ratings, bringing major revenue to their respective networks or stations at the expense of the demonized communities. Through this initiative, NHMC aims to educate and mobilize the public on the harms of hate speech in media,” comments Inez Gonzalez, Executive Vice-President of NHMC.

‘Quantifying Hate Speech on Commerical Talk Radio’
A Pilot Study, UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center
By Chon A. Noriega and Francisco Javier Iribarren

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