WASHINGTON -- Latino groups are calling for more of a presence in the Sunday morning talk show arena.
Today the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA), together with the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), The LIBRE Initiative and Being Latino are launching a social impact project called: The Art of Politics.
The initiative draws attention to the lack of Latino voices on the four Broadcast Network's Sunday Morning News Talk Shows: ABC's This Week; CBS's Face the Nation; FOX News Sunday; and NBC's Meet the Press.
Hispanics are the largest and fastest growing minority group in the United States, numbering 50.5 million or just over 16 percent of the entire population.
Latinos participate as leaders and influencers in every sector and topic covered by network news programs, yet on the networks' Sunday political opinion shows, the presence of Latinos is negligible.
From March to May 2011, among the 234 total guests and commentators featured on all four broadcast networks, 16 were African Americans, 4 were Indian Americans and 5 were Hispanics. While women have been making inroads over the years, totaling 46 during the documented three month time period, political punditry in America is still dominated by white males.
"The virtual absence of Latinos on the week's most influential political and policy news shows, depicts a news industry that has not evolved with the changing U.S. demographics," said Felix Sanchez, NHFA Chairman and Co-Founder.
Sanchez added, "The 2012 Presidential elections are slightly more than 16 months away. The Latino vote is expected to play a critical role in electing or reelecting the next President of the United States. Yet a Latino perspective conveyed by Latino contributors is missing from all political network shows.
The principal broadcast news organizations have a responsibility and a duty to include Latinos voices on these critical news shows. The Art of Politics impact project has requested a meeting with each network and will continue to update data every three months."