Following last week’s attack by Trump supporters and right-wing extremists on the U.S. Capitol building, numerous Spanish-language media outlets in Miami have been accused of spreading misinformation and misinformation about the event. Now a multitude of civil rights organizations are calling on those places to curb their unverified claims.
In letter addressed to points of sale in Spanish, more than 20 Latino organizations require better fact-checking by journalists and greater accountability for professionals.
“The misinformation and toxic rhetoric reflected in the media is disproportionately represented in the Spanish media. This has made it difficult for us to communicate on issues,” said Ana Sofia Peláez, executive director of the Miami Freedom Project, a nonprofit organization that advocates affordable housing and other social issues.
Last week Miami Herald reported that hosts on Spanish AM radio stations, including La Poderosa (670 AM) and Actualidad Radio (1040 AM) were spreading unconfirmed or corrupt theories about the attack on the Capitol, saying that antifa – a loose coalition of anti-fascist demonstrators – stood behind the failed uprising. Actualidad leader Agustín Acosta repeated the story of an antifa member spotted inside the Capitol all day after he was refuted, according to Herald.
Since then, working in Spanish for the Capitol riots has also blamed members of the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as “Castro supporters” and other groups who had nothing to do with the attack, with no evidence, he said. Miami Herald rapporteur Lautaro Grinspan.
(Btw radio in Spanish this afternoon in Miami adds “Supporters of Maduro, Ortega and Castro” to the list of alleged culprits for the riot in the Capitol, along with “Black life is important and antifa”) https://t.co/a3XVm735i5
– Lautaro Grinspan (@lautarogrinspan) January 12, 2021
Hosts and guests of Spanish-language radio stations, such as Radio Mambí owned by Univision (710 a.m.), also shared conspiracy theories, claiming widespread election fraud followed the victory of newly elected President Joe Biden, regardless of the evidence supporting those claims. (Dozens of election lawsuits by the Trump administration have expelled due to insufficient evidence.)
On the day of the uprising, Pepe Forte, host of Radio Mambí Pepe’s Attic, continued to imply that the election was fraudulent after the condemnation of the violence earlier that day.
“I believe there are shadows of fraud and suspicion in the election. And those suspicions can be credible and rational,” Forte said in Spanish. “There must be a shadow of deception … will you tell me it’s a lie? It’s true.” (Miami Herald reports that Forte was fired this week.)
Listeners also noted that Radio Mambí hosts allow guests to claim that the election was stolen without fact-checking or giving context for any false or misleading statements given in real time, a practice that is common practice in major radio news.
The guest with the play Mambi is currently defending the current coup attempt. “They stole three elections in our face. We will not allow that …. They [rioters] I did not attack anyone. They attacked the government. “
– Carlos Odio (@carlosodio) January 6, 2021
Guests on Mambi Radio have in the past threatened violence without any doubt or rejection from the hosts, including saying people should “arm themselves to the teeth” because Black Lives Matter members would come for them, according to WLRN.
Achieved New Times, University President Claudia Puig said in an email that the company adheres to associated radio stations with the same standards of accuracy as other media features.
“Univision Radio News reporters and journalists adhere to the same standards as Univision News reporters. Political issues are not usually commented on in our entertainment shows. We will investigate this issue because we take these things seriously,” Puig said.
A Univision spokesman further commented New Times that all stations, whether entertainment or news, are expected to meet the same standards.
Yet racist and hate speech can also often fly in the Spanish media, along with conspiracy theories that Democrats accuse of forest fires and link them to Biblical “Judgment Day” for “turning against God.”
Last September, a magazine supplement in Spanish Free which was published in Miami Herald members of the Black Lives Matter were compared to the German Nazis and belittled Jews for supporting the movement, questioning their common sense. An internal investigation by Herald found that a similar racist and anti-Semitic language was printed New from at least January 2020.
Peláez, executive director of the Miami Freedom Project, says that in many cases, Spanish-language programs present their opinions to viewers or listeners as a fact – and often miss them because they are not broadcast in English.
“It’s normalized that if something is in Spanish, it can take a more extreme stance. That’s why we question this,” Peláez says.
Peláez says the coalition of advocates does not want to censor hosts who might differ in views or tell them what to say, but they want the relevant stations to provide context and ensure that reporting is fact-based and offers more views. listeners.
“If you are expressing your opinion, there should be room for that, but there should be a certain context and you should present a counter-narration. We are not asking for less speech; we are asking for more,” Peláez says.
The letter from Latin American organizations to be sent to stations including La Poderosa, Radio Actualidad and Radio Mambí also asks them to include more diverse voices in their reports. Peláez says there is a lack of coverage of African-Latinos and other non-white Latinos in the Spanish-language media, and believes that incorporating their experiences will create more balanced coverage.
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