Federico Subervi-Vélez with Charles Ramírez Berg , Patricia Constantakis-Valdés, Chon Noriega, Diana I. Ríos, and Kenton T. Wilkinson
From the border newspapers of the early 1800s through today's advanced telecommunications, Latinos have had a broad range of media that both informed and entertained in their own language and cultures. In the early days, most of these media operated in Spanish. But even then, some were bilingual, and as time has passed, bilingual media and, more recently, English-language, Hispanic-oriented media have increased in number and importance.
Hispanics from various countries have created and owned a number of the media institutions that targeted Latinos as consumers. A significant portion of those institutions have been owned, in whole or in part, by non-Latino individuals or corporations, however. But no matter who owned these institutions their employment practices and their content tended to be more favorable to Latinos than other media have been. Whether the Hispanic-oriented media are print or broadcast, they continue to present the life and times of Latinos in the United States more thoroughly, appropriately, and positively.
The Spanish-language press within the national boundaries of the United States had its beginnings in 1808 in New Orleans, Louisiana, with El Misisipí (see Figure 15.1), a four-page commercial and trade-oriented "publication printed primarily in Spanish, but with English translations of many of the articles and almost all of the advertising" ( Wilson and Gutiérrez, 1985:175). Prior to the inauguration of El Misisipí, dozens of Spanish-language newspapers and periodicals, founded by the Spanish conquerors and settlers and the Mexican pioneers of the times, were published in the southwest-