BILINGUAL JOURNALISM FINDS ITS VOICE

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.

More News from Thursday, June 13, 2019