There are about 58 million Hispanics in the U.S. – about 18% of the population, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
About 40 million people in the U.S. speak Spanish at home, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data.
REDMSUDENVER.EDU reports as more Hispanic Americans become bilingual, Spanish-language media companies are increasing their English-language offerings, while English-language media are offering more Spanish-language content, according to nonprofit Democracy Fund’s May 2019 report, Hispanic Media Today.
3-year-old Marisa Ellison disappeared last October from her Oklahoma City home, local media broadcast her photograph and information to help find the missing teenager.
But Oklahoma’s English-language news stations weren’t reaching a key audience: Spanish speakers.
Ellison is Native American, her stepfather is Mexican, and she came from a bilingual home and community.
Her stepfather reached out to KTUZ (Telemundo) Oklahoma City reporter Juan Arellano to do a Spanish-language interview about his stepdaughter.
The day after Arellano’s Spanish-language interview with Ellison’s stepfather aired, the teenager returned home.
Her mother later called KTUZ and thanked them for their role in her daughter’s return.
“If you’re a news source that’s only English, and you’re trying to reach out to more diverse communities, then you need someone that is going to understand the language and community,” said Arellano.