The authors of the three chapters in this section--all excerpted from longer works-- discuss Latino images in the news and television. These chapters have a dual focus: the lack of Latino representation and the misrepresentation of Latino events, characters, and culture. The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) in Chapter 1 and Lichter and Amundson in Chapter 3 use an empirical approach. Their work represents the most systematic, rigorous, and comprehensive examination of Latinos in the media to date. NCLR reviews research on the numbers of Latinos in the media and on their portrayals. Lichter and Amundson examine the portrayal of Hispanic characters on television over time, using the scientific method of content analysis. Their chapter concludes with an update covering the 1994-1995 season. Chapter 2, by Quiroga, is a first-person account, written in 1993 by a veteran Hispanic journalist in Boston, combining analyses of case studies and personal experiences. Together, the three chapters emphasize the impact of underrepresentation and negative portrayals on Latinos, on non-Latinos, and on public policy. Many of the findings discussed in these chapters parallel those in the subsequent section on Latinos and film.
NCLR finds an all-too-familiar picture of underrepresentation and negative portrayals. NCLR's disturbing conclusions in Chapter 1 are that Latinos are almost invisible in both the entertainment and news media, leaving the nation's second-largest minority "out of the picture." Moreover, when Latinos do appear, they are consistently portrayed more negatively than other racial and ethnic groups. These two problems, underrepresentation and negative portrayals, have been persistent themes in films, in television, and in the news. Study after study reveals the chronic condition of Latino underrepresentation, but even more alarming is the finding that underrepresentation has worsened with time. Beginning with the examination by the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (the Kerner Commission, 1968) of television characters during the 1960s, Hispanics have consistently been the least likely to appear in