Natl Hispanic Media Coalition: More Latino Experts On TV

Image: Television screen displays Federal Reserve Chair Yellen's news conference as traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
A television screen displays a news conference by Fed Chair Janet Yellen as traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange June 18, 2014. With so many Americans getting their news on television, the National Hispanic Media Coalition launched a program June 25, 2014 that aims to have more Hispanic experts on local and national tv in 12 U.S. markets. Reuters

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Turn on local or network news, said Alex Nogales of the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), and you hardly see Hispanic experts on the air. "Latinos are invisible, and it was necessary to send a different picture," he said. After obtaining funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the NHMC has created the Latino Experts Program. It spent two years media training Latino experts in fields such as business and the economy, education, health and immigration to make them more comfortable speaking on television in 12 large TV markets. NHMC then went to the presidents of the network and local stations and made the case for booking these Latino professionals in their news shows. "Television is the medium whereby most people get their news," said Nogales. "We have experts like everyone else. But the rolodexes don't include many Latinos." As of now, about half of those trained have already been called to lend their expertise on a show.