Hispanics Get News in English; but Spanish-Language Media Crucial for Outreach

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 20, 2004 | Go to article overview

Hispanics Get News in English; but Spanish-Language Media Crucial for Outreach


Byline: Amy Fagan, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Most Hispanics living in the United States follow English-language news reports to some degree, especially likely voters, a survey released yesterday found.

The survey of Hispanics' choice in news outlets, conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center, found 44 percent of Hispanics use both English-language and Spanish-language news to stay informed, 31 percent use English-only and just 24 percent rely on Spanish-language media.

Roberto Suro, director of the center, said it is "striking" that so many use English-language media, especially considering that 61 percent of those surveyed were foreign-born Hispanics.

"These results show that ... English exercises a very powerful appeal to those who come to this country," he said.

Among those Hispanics likely to vote in a U.S. election, 53 percent get all their news in English, 40 percent use both Spanish and English sources, and just 6 percent rely on Spanish-language news.

Still, Mr. Suro pointed out that most Hispanics switch between both English- and Spanish-language news than stick with just one.

"There's a lot of going back and forth," he said.

Maria Cardona, vice president of media relations and director of the Hispanic Project at the New Democrat Network, said that is why Spanish-language media is still crucial to reaching Hispanics. Two-thirds of Hispanics are watching Spanish-language media or switching back and forth.

Ms. Cardona said this means: "If you're trying to market something to the Hispanic community ... there's no way you can do that without using Spanish-language television."

The Pew report found Spanish-language media still has a broad reach and value among Hispanics. A full 78 percent of Hispanics across-the-board think Spanish-language news is very important to the economic and political development of the Hispanic population - the largest minority group in the United States.

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