Photo: National Hispanic Media Coalition
Today, the National Hispanic Media Coalition (“NHMC”) joined other leaders of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (“NHLA”) to release NHLA’s “2012 Hispanic Public Policy Agenda” at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The document, which is presented to policymakers every four years, is the result of months of deliberations among Latino leaders to identify key policy goals that would advance the status of the Latino community in the United States.
In the document that was released today, a number of NHMC’s policy recommendations that relate to promoting broadband access and adoption, combatting hate speech, and promoting media ownership diversity were included.
Concerning broadband, the Agenda recommends that policymakers:
* Support modification of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Lifeline Program - which currently subsidizes low-income Americans’ telephone service - to also cover broadband services.
* Encourage enhancement of the FCC’s E-Rate Program, which currently subsidizes broadband access in schools and libraries.
* Promote competition in the broadband and mobile phone markets to promote lower prices.
* Protect consumers from predatory billing and privacy practices.
Concerning hate speech and media ownership, the Agenda recommends that policymakers support NHMC’s 2009 Petition for Inquiry at the FCC among other things. Specifically, policymakers are urged to:
* Encourage a comprehensive Federal Communications Commission (FCC) inquiry into the extent and effects of hate speech in media, and/or an update to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) 1993 report to Congress, The Role of Telecommunications in Hate Crimes.
* Support FCC policies to expand and promote media ownership diversity.
* Oppose media consolidation as a race-neutral way to open doors for diverse owners to enter the media marketplace.
* Ensure that the FCC is collecting thorough data on diversity of media ownership and employment and providing this data to the public in a transparent and easily-searchable format that breaks the numbers down by race and ethnicity.
* Increase the number of Latinos working at all levels at the FCC. Currently only 3 percent of FCC staff is Latino, and no Latinos are in leading or decision-making roles.