LatinaLista — The Latino vote has rightfully garnered much media attention during this presidential election. Unfortunately, outside politicians and the political parties, the Latino electorate/community is not seen as the consumer/citizenship force it is quickly becoming.
It’s an issue that reached an uncomfortable climax for the small Commission on Presidential Debates that designates the moderators, format and locations of the presidential debates. When the commission failed to include a Latino journalist as a debate moderator, Univision fought back by holding its own forums with each presidential candidate.
“Sometimes we are invisible and we are fighting so hard not to be invisible,” Univision anchor Jorge Ramos told Bill Moyers during an interview the PBS journalist had with both Ramos and his on-air partner Maria Elena Salinas. “The Commission on Presidential Debates, they’re stuck in the 1950s. They still think that the country could be divided between men and women and that’s it. And they do not realize that one in every three persons in the United States is from a minority. They think it is okay to have an African American president but they don’t think it’s okay to have an African American or a Hispanic journalist as a moderator for the debates. So what we did is, it was a wonderful response to this oversight, this huge oversight. Instead, they didn’t want to invite us to their party, so we had our own party.”
In an interview that ranged from the oversight of the debate commission to public perception of Latinos to the rise of English usage among Latinos, Salinas and Ramos, who were both recipients of the Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, share with Moyers the challenges of being a ‘minority’ journalist in an industry that doesn’t reflect the demographic changes in the US population.