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Latino Daily News

Monday November 4, 2013

Outcry Over Lack of Latino Inclusion on PBS

Outcry Over Lack of Latino Inclusion on PBS

Photo: Ray Suarez Leaves PBS to Al Jazeera

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

There is an outcry over the lack of Latinos on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) network led by the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) prompted by the departure of Ray Suarez.

Suarez, 56, unexpectedly departed PBS after serving the network over a decade as a senior correspondent noting that he “didn’t have much of a future with the broadcast” and his contributions were “heavily minimized.” With Suarez’ departure, no Latinos occupy senior positions at the “NewsHour” program.

Suarez, in 2010, was induced in the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.  Suarez is joining the new cable network Al Jazeera America as host of its “Inside Story” program airing at 5 p.m. beginning November 11.

His departure brought to light what many see on the publicly funded, government-supported network - no Latinos.

We have tremendous regard for Ray Suarez,” Angelo Falcón, president of the National Institute of Latino Policy, told Fox News Latino. “It’s an outrage that someone as well qualified and that dedicated 14 years … was put in a position and treated like a second-class citizen.”

The remaining high-profile Latino in public media is Maria Hinojosa anchor and managing editor of National Public Radio’s “Latino USA.”  Hinojosa has received two Emmy awards for broadcast and reporting.

NHMC issued on open letter to the network on the lack of Latinos noting that Latinos are underrepresented in programming, on-air and in new initiatives.  The lack of Latino-inclusion starts at the top. Only two out of twenty-six PBS Board Directors are Latino and there are no Latinos in senior positions at PBS.

NHMC is urging PBS to take measures to diversify itself, include more Latinos on-air and increase the number of Latino-focused regular programs.  If not NHMC will ask its members to consider removing support from PBS, something some Latinos are already contemplating.

Google+ Author:  Estelle Gonzales Walgreen

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