Washington, D.C.–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–June 25, 2003–The president of the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP), Hernán Guaracao, called the current controversy about the merger between Univision and Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation (HBC) a “huge public issue incumbent upon all the 38 million Latinos living in the United States to take a position on.”
“This is not a simple ‘brawl‚’ between two contending companies‚ fighting over the spoils of the Latino Market,” as recently characterized by what the president of NAHP called “the most respected journals covering the issue.”
Guaracao was referring to a front-page story that appeared this week in magazine Hispanic Market Weekly on the Univision/HBC merger controversy and also to another piece published by the Wall Street Journal last week.
“This is about all of us, you and me, the Hispanic radio listener or Hispanic television viewer who in this democracy has a very simple and basic right to have a say at a moment when major steps towards consolidation of media ownership controlling the messages that reach our community are taking place,” Guaracao added.
Guaracao asked for a national broadening of the debate, taking it out of what he called “the narrow dimension of a simple fight between two major broadcast players” that leaves out “the rest of us, the very people who make those huge media corporations reap the millions of dollars of the bountiful advertising market we happen to represent.”
“The issue can’t be seized by only two private parties which, as the for-profit businesses that they are, may be pursuing obvious private interests on a matter that is essentially public,” said Guaracao.
“It’s incumbent upon all of us to take a stand on this issue and to demand to be asked for our input,” he reiterated
The president of NAHP expressed surprise over the fact that the recent allegations on the same issue from the office of the highest-ranking Hispanic in the U.S. Congress, Mr. Bob Menéndez (D-NJ), “seemingly have not been followed up by any journalist in the nation.”
Menéndez recently pointed the finger at Univision, accusing the large Spanish-Language TV network of silencing the voices of Latino leaders opposed to the nomination of Miguel Estrada, supported by the White House, allegedly to favor the fast approval of the Univision/HBC merger by the FCC, a federal agency.
Reacting to what the president of NAHP called “disturbing accusations” of the second-ranking Democrat in the US House of Representatives, Guaracao recently issued a statement in which he said that, if Menéndez’s accusations were proven to be true, they would represent “the biggest breach in public trust in the history of Hispanic news media in the U.S.”
The influential NAHP organization will host its 5th Annual National Hispanic Media Summit this coming July 9-11 in Washington, DC. The Summit will provide an opportunity for Hispanic publishers to meet with the highest-ranking leaders from the Federal Administration and the US Congress. The issue of the Univision/HBC merger will be the inevitable subject of discussion among the publishers gathering in our nation’s capital for this annual gathering of Hispanic Print Media.
ABOUT THE NAHP
Founded in 1982, the National Association of Hispanic Publications is the premier organization representing Hispanic print nationwide. The NAHP is comprised of over 200 member publications with a combined circulation of more than 12 million, including top dailies from New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Houston. Its member publications reach over 50 percent of Hispanic households in 55 U.S. markets on a weekly basis. The mission of the NAHP is to promote Hispanic print, the most effective medium to reach the Hispanic population. The NAHP strives to continually inform and educate the Hispanic community on social issues, educate the readership of its member publications, provide technical assistance and to improve the quality of Hispanic publications nationwide.
Sirena J. Scales