I am a professor at the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at Kent State University. For more than 30 years, I’ve specialized in teaching, conducting research, and publishing on issues related to Latinos and media.
2) Tell me about your latest work or project in media literacy.
The most recent project in this arena focuses on teaching Latino Oriented News Literacy. From July 21-25, the first workshop on this topic took place in Chicago. This was made possible thanks to a grant from the McCormick Foundation and the collaboration by Dean Miller and others from Stony Brook University and elsewhere.
3) Why is media literacy important to you?
Because literacy of this kind is crucial for an informed and fully engaged citizenry in a Democratic society. For many years, efforts to teach media literacy and even news literacy in particular have continued to grow across the country. However, little or no attention has been given to teach news literacy related to the nation’s Spanish-language and other Latino-oriented media.
4) What are you most excited about in the media literacy field?
What excites me most is the potential to contribute to the understanding and critical thinking about the functions and roles of Latino-oriented media. This applies to helping Latino and non-Latino audiences alike, as all are affected, be it directly or indirectly, by how well (or not) Latino oriented media present the news on a daily basis.
5) Why did you become a NAMLE member – what benefits do you see to the membership and how will it support your work?
I became a member of NAMLE to hopefully share with NAMLE members my knowledge about Latino media. I am certain that collaborating with NAMLE—as was the case when my School at Kent hosted the “Eyes Wide Open” video showing—will be mutually beneficial for my students, colleagues, and for NAMLE members who extend their teaching and advocacy on topics and issues related to Latino oriented media.