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Hispanic Media Group Plans Hate Speech Petition

WASHINGTON

The National Hispanic Media Coalition, a media advocacy and civil rights organization, plans to unveil its preliminary findings on hate speech in commercial radio today and to follow up with a petition to the Federal Communications Commission. 

The coalition scheduled a press conference at  the National Press Club led by  Alex Nogales, its president & chief executive officer.

β€œWe are very respectful of the first amendment and free speech, but the hateful rhetoric, particularly against the immigrant minority communities, espoused by irresponsible TV and radio talk show hosts on American airwaves needs to be addressed and today we will present a three-prong strategy to do so,” explained Nogales.

The NHMC said it would present preliminary findings of a pilot study to quantify hate speech in commercial talk radio by the UCLA/Chicano Studies Research Center, headed by Chon Noriega, who is also a professor in the UCLA Department of Film, Television and Digital Media.

According to the coalition, the preliminary research suggests that there are four different types of hate speech directed at vulnerable groups and social institutions perceived to be in collusion with them.

β€œThe goal of this pilot study is to develop a sound, replicable methodology, to scientifically quantify hate speech in commercial talk radio,” Noriega said. β€œWe see this effort as establishing a scientific methodology and baseline for larger studies dealing with hate speech in the media.”

The media coalition plans to present a petition today to the Federal Communications Commission for inquiry into hate speech.

The petition was  drafted by the Institute for Public Representation, a public interest law firm and clinical education program at Georgetown Law in Washington, D.C.. β€œWe are asking the FCC to open an inquiry to raise public awareness, to collect information about the extent and effect of hate speech, and to explore options for countervailing or reducing the negative impacts of such speech,” explained Jessica Gonzalez, an attorney at IPR.

Some conservative radio and television hosts have made anti-immigration messages a regular topic on their programs. Groups have argued that it contributes to a rise in harassment of Hispanics, legally in the U.S. or not, over their residency or citizenship status and to stereotypes about them as a whole.

NHMC said it would also ask the Secretary of Commerce, or Congress, to direct the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to update its 1993 report, β€œThe Role of Telecommunications in Hate Crime.” NHMC said it believed a new, scientific study would establish a causal relationship between hate speech in the broadcast media and violence against vulnerable groups.

For more information about the National Hispanic Media Coalition, log on to its website

 http://www.nhmc.org/



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