Show Buttons
Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkdin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Hide Buttons

Archive for the ‘Media Issues’ Category


The TV show Sabado Gigante has been a staple of Spanish-speaking households for 50 years. Larger-than-life host Don Francisco talks with host Maria Hinojosa about his first TV experience, his recipe for success, and transcontinental commuting.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Mario Kreutzberger, better known as “Don Francisco,” is the creator and host of “Sábado Gigante” (Giant Saturday), the longest running variety show in television history –celebrating its 50th anniversary this year– and one of the most successful programs ever aired on Spanish-language TV. Born in Chile, the son of German Jewish immigrants who escaped their country during the turbulent times preceding World War II, Kreutzberger is a distinguished TV presenter and producer, entrepreneur, composer and author who has been involved in virtually every aspect of the entertainment industry for five decades. His fascination with television dates back to the early 1960s, when he pursued an opportunity to work in Chile’s fledgling broadcasting industry. His debut program, titled “Show Dominical” (Sunday Show), aired with limited success and was cancelled twice. On the third attempt, Kreutzberger added a number of new elements, called it “Sábado Gigante,” and began hosting it under the stage name “Don Francisco.” And so, on August 8, 1962, he launched the show that would make television history.



Silencing the Mexican media has become a key strategy for organized crime in the ongoing drug war. And it remains so after the killing of 55 journalists and a total of 60,000 people across the country. We speak to Ana Arana, director of the MEPI Foundation in Mexico City and co-author of a new report that highlights the devastating effect of the drug war on the Mexican media.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Ana Arana is an U.S. investigative journalist and director of the Fundacion MEPI, an independent journalism project based at the Tecnologico de Monterry in Mexico City. MEPI promotes binational and regional investigations. Arana is a former Knight International Journalism Fellow in Mexico, where she trained investigative units at various news outlets. One of the investigative teams at the daily El Universal won Mexico’s National Press Award in 2008.

Arana´s work has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Newsweek, Salon., The Columbia Journalism Review, the New York Daily News, Business Week, and the Village Voice. The Miami Herald, CBS News. She is a former reporter for the San Jose Mercury News and was a foreign correspondent for The Miami Herald in Central America and Colombia in the 1980s and 1990s. She is a graduate of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and San Francisco State University.


The music and pop culture magazine Rolling Stone recently put out their first bilingual section, claiming to have a list of the top 10 Latino rock albums of all time. But their Mexico bureau emphatically disagreed—and wrote a letter disassociating themselves from the list. We speak to Benjamín Salcedo Villareal from Rolling Stone Mexico about this decision.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Benjamin Salcedo Villareal is the Director of Rolling Stone, Mexico.





While we agreed with some of the choices presented in the magazine’s “10 Greatest Latin Rock Albums of all Time,” we believe trying to cover a music genre with a history in Latin America almost as long as what it has in the U.S. and Britain is a thankless task. In the spirit of inclusiveness, we wanted to highlight 10 albums (albums! Remember those?) we feel are key to understanding how rock has developed in Latin America. Sorry, U.S.-based bands, you’ll have to wait for your own list.

In chronological order:

1) La Revolución de Emiliano Zapata, La Revolución de Emiliano Zapata (1971) Rock developed in Mexico in tandem with its development in the U.S. This Guadalajara-based band often sang in English and was in many ways indistinguishable from its counterparts in El Norte.

2) Pescado Rabioso, Artaud (1973) Argentine icon Luis Alberto Spinetta’s dedication to French poet and actor Antonin Artaud. It opens with one of his most famous songs “Todas las hojas son del viento,” and it includes numerous acoustic guitars and jazz variations, an abrupt turn from their previous album, Invisible.

3) Sui Generis, Confesiones de Invierno (1973) One of the most influential rock bands to come out of Argentina during the early 70s. This album was their second and a dramatic improvement in sound and compositions while staying loyal to their Folk Rock style.

4) Os Paralamas do Suceso, O Passo do Lui (1984) This Brazilian band’s pop rock with tinges of reggae also became popular in Spanish-speaking Latin America, thanks to easy sing-along love songs like “Meu Error.”

5) Caifanes, Caifanes (1988) Musically, this debut record by Mexican rock giants may have leaned heavily on the Cure, but Saul Hernandez’s mystical lyrics brought a decidedly Mexican flavor. Their cover of “La negra Tomasa” alone showed that you COULD make rock that was purely Latin American.

6) Mano Negra, Puta’s Fever (1989) This was the record that created the Mano Negra effect, spawning a thousand Latin American bands that promiscuously mixed different genres and languages.

7) Los Prisioneros, Corazones (1990) The heavy use of synth may sound dated now, but this Chilean band pioneered lyrics highlighting their South American identity (“Tren al Sur”).

8) Sepultura, Chaos A.D (1993) Metal knows no borders, as shown by this band from Belo Horizonte, Brazil. This album moved away a bit from a strictly thrash sound to experiment more with punk and with deeper grooves.

9) Los Tres, La Espada y la Pared (1995) This Chilean band cross-bred 1950s roots rock with Southern Cone folk (one of the band members belongs to the famed Parra family) and produced a sound that was fresh even as bands all over the continent were experimenting with folk and rock.

10) Shakira, Pies Descalzos (1996) She’s all blonde and all pop now, but once this Lebanese-Colombian singer-songwriter was feisty and fully rockera.

11) Gustavo Cerati, Bocanada (1999) Soda Stereo may have been the pinnacle of Latin American rock, but even after the band’s demise in 1997, Cerati proved there was plenty more to do and say.


Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15-Oct. 15, is supposed to be a time to celebrate Latino contributions to U.S. society and culture. But for some, it feels like a way to sanitize Latino history in the U.S. Or worse, just another excuse to market to Latinos. Host Maria Hinojosa speaks with Prof. Arlene Dávila and humorist Lalo Alcaraz about the uses and meanings of Hispanic Heritage Month.

This is part of our series on Latino identity, “Somos.”

Click here to download this week’s show.

Lalo Alcaraz is the creator of the first nationally-syndicated, politically-themed Latino daily comic strip, “La Cucaracha,” seen in scores of newspapers including the Los Angeles Times. He is also co-host of KPFK Radio’s popular satirical talk show, “The Pocho Hour of Power,” and co-founded the political satire comedy group Chicano Secret Service. His work has appeared in major publications around the world and he has won numerous awards and honors. Alcaraz received his Bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University, and earned his master’s degree in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently a faculty member at Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles. Alcaraz was born in San Diego and grew up on the border. He is married to a hard-working public school teacher and they have three extremely artistic children.


Arlene Davila is a professor of Anthropology, Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. She is the author of Sponsored Identities: Cultural Politics in Puerto Rico and Latinos Inc: Marketing and the Making of a People, Barrio Dreams: Puerto Ricans, Latinos and the Neoliberal City. Her book, Latino Spin: Public Image and the Whitewashing of Race recently received the Latin American Studies Association prize for the best book in Latino studies.

Noticiando: Color TV

Latinos are a growing part of the TV watching audience, but they aren’t tuning in to shows on the networks. Is it the characters? The storylines? How Latino culture is represented on these shows? For insight on the challenge of capturing Latino viewers, we speak to Eric Deggans, television columnist at the Tampa Bay Times.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Eric Deggans began covering music for the Tampa Bay Times in 1995. He started his role as a TV critic in 1997, focusing on the TV industry locally and nationally. In 2004, he joined the Times editorial board until returning to the critic’s corner as media writer in 2005, and as TV critic in 2006.

Somos: What’s In A Name?

Latino, Afro-Cuban, Chicano, Mexican-American:  For as long as people of Latin American descent have been a part of the U.S. they’ve been referred to by many names. What’s more, we even have different names for ourselves. In this segment of our new Somos series, we talk to writers and activists about what name they choose to identify themselves by – and why it matters.

Click here to download this week’s show. Image courtesy of

Explaining Somos

“Somos” is the name of a series that we are starting where we explore issues of Latino identity. We invite you to tell us how you identify yourself by making a video on youtube, posting a comment here, or leaving a message old-school style on our phone (yes, we have a phone attached to a wall!) at 646-571-1228. Don’t forget to tell us your name and where you’re calling us from. And after you post your video, tell us about it here or tweet us! We love hearing from you.

Marina Garcia-Vasquez is the co-founder and director of, a culture site and creative consultancy collective. The group aims to promote Mexican culture and heritage in a positive light through the accomplishments of Mexican nationals and Mexican-Americans both in the United States, Mexico, and globally. Based in New York City, Marina is a working journalist dedicated to writing about art, design, and architecture. She is a recent graduate of Columbia University’s School of Journalism M.A. program in Arts and Culture and a published poet.

Roland Roebuck is a recognized DC activist nationally known as a leading spokesperson on issues that impact Latino Afro-Descendants. He has worked tirelessly to champion human and civil rights. He is a founding member of several Washington DC community organizations and has compelled national organizations and elected officials to implement initiatives that address the needs of minority groups.


Matthew Yglesias is Slate’s business and economics correspondent and author of Slate’s Moneybox column. Before joining the magazine he worked for ThinkProgress, the Atlantic, TPM Media, and the American Prospect. His first book, Heads in the Sand, was published in 2008. His second, The Rent Is Too Damn High, was published in March.


The growth in the Latino population has media power houses fighting for a share of the highly coveted Latino market. To better understand how US media companies compete to capture Latino audiences, we revisit our conversation with Arlene Davila, a professor of Anthropology, Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Arlene Davila is a professor of Anthropology, Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. She is the author of Sponsored Identities: Cultural Politics in Puerto Rico and Latinos Inc: Marketing and the Making of a People, Barrio Dreams: Puerto Ricans, Latinos and the Neoliberal City. Her book, Latino Spin: Public Image and the Whitewashing of Race recently received the Latin American Studies Association prize for the best book in Latino studies.

2012 According to the Ancient Mayans

In just two days, the calendar will jump to the year 2012. And while some people plan their year festivities, others worry of doomsday scenarios and point at the Mayan calendar’s ancient prophecies on the end of the world. Independent Producer Maria Martin reports from Guatemala, the land of the Maya, to see what people are saying about 2012.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

The Evolving Occupy Wall Street

The “Occupy” movement has been steadily growing and has spread throughout the US and abroad. This week, we take a closer look at Latinos participating throughout the United States and the messages they want to convey. We start at Zuccotti Park with Marine Perez, who has been with the movement from the very beginning. She is an activist and translator, originally from Puerto Rico, and now, she is the language coordinator of the “Occupy Wall Street Journal.” We are also joined by activists: John Michael Torres from McAllen, TX, Marissa Martinez from LA, and Judith Marquez from Denver.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

Occupy Wall Street Round Table

It started as a small group of dedicated protesters – Occupy Wall Street was dismissed as a fringe movement. But their message is starting to grab attention with similar protests planned around the country. Demonstrators say they are the 99 percent, but do the protests reflect the diversity of America? Are voices of color also being heard?
To answer this question, Maria Hinojosa hosts a round table debate with editor Kai Wright, artist Melanie Cervantes, and musician Martin Perna.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

Manu Chao in Arizona

It’s rare to find a popular musician these days who embraces a controversial political message, but that’s precisely what Manu Chao has done in his career. Originally from France, but his music transcends borders. Manu Chao’s songs speak of poverty and world politics, often in multiple languages – and his stardom has brought attention to many issues around the world.
Most recently, the singer was in Arizona, standing in solidarity with protesters against the infamous Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio. Maria Hinojosa speaks with filmmaker Alex Rivera who was in Arizona with Manu Chao, documenting the protest and impromptu concert.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

20 Years After the Mt. Pleasant Riots

Twenty years ago this week, the streets of Mount Pleasant, the most diverse neighborhood in Washington DC, were filled with rioters and tear gas. The city hadn’t seen a disturbance like this since the day Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and there hasn’t been anything like it since.

On May 5, 1991, young men, mainly Latino, took to the streets to protest what was rumored to have been a case of police brutality. A rookie African-American female police officer had shot a 30-year-old Latino man.

Reporter Emily Friedman, takes us back to the three-day turmoil, and explains how the riots took the Latino community in D.C. to the path of recognition.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

A Deeper Conversation about Diversity in The Media

AOL’s acquisition of the Huffington Post for $315 million made headlines around the world and raised a lot of eyebrows among media makers. For loyal Huffington Post followers, there were concerns about maintaining the blog’s progressive point of view. For journalists of color, questions arose about how this merger will effect reporting about their communities — especially now that Arianna Huffington will oversee AOL’s Black Voices and AOL Latino and plans to include special “Latino” and “African American” sections to the Huffington Post. Many are asking, “Is this a step forward, or a step back?” Maria Hinojosa sits down with filmmaker and Columbia University Journalism Professor June Cross and columnist Ruben Navarrette to find the answer and discuss the reality of diversity in America media.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

Examining Our Political Lexicon

When gunfire erupted outside a Tucson grocery store last Saturday morning, a remarkable national conversation began almost immediately—centering, in large part, around the question: Has our political rhetoric gone too far?

Jared Lee Loughner was taken into custody at the scene of the shooting. He is charged in federal court with one count of attempted assasination of a member of Congress, two counts of killing a federal employee, and two counts of attempting to kill a federal employee. It is expected that he’ll face state charges as well. Six people were killed during the rampage.

But even when the number of people killed and wounded was uncertain, there was talk of pulling back on the harsh language that has filled political discourse in recent years. Critics of this sort of language were quick to point to examples such as the graphic on Sarah Palin’s PAC’s Facebook page which showed gunsight targets over key swing districts before last year’s midterm election.

One of those districts was Arizona’s 8th, and the seat held by Representative Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat.

Following the vote on healthcare reform last year, Giffords’ Tucson office was vandalized. She appeared on MSNBC to talk about political rhetoric, and addressed the Palin website graphic.

“When people do that,” the congresswoman said, “they’ve got to realize there are consequences to that action.” (see video)

Ms. Palin answered her critics mid-week: “Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them, not collectively with all the citizens of a state, not with those who listen to talk radio, not with maps of swing districts used by both sides of the aisle, not with law-abiding citizens who respectfully exercise their First Amendment rights at campaign rallies, not with those who proudly voted in the last election.” (read text)

President Obama traveled to Tucson Wednesday to speak to those wounded in the shooting, and to the families of those killed. He called on the nation to watch how we speak with one another: “…at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized -– at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who happen to think differently than we do -– it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.” (see video or read transcript)

On this week’s program, Maria Hinojosa talks about the current state of political rhetoric, and whether civil discourse is possible for Americans now, and about the shooting in Tucson in the context of the climate of hate Latinos are feeling there.

Our guests are Roberto Rodriguez, who teaches in the Department of Mexican American and Raza Studies at the University of Arizona, in Tucson; and Mercedes De Uriarte, who teaches in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

Latino Media Today

On this week’s program, we look at Latinos and the media: particularly, television. The Latino audience is a force to be reckoned with in the United States. Content produced for Latinos, both in Spanish and in English, is widespread–and hugely profitable. Recently, the Nielsen company reported that Univision is the most popular television network — that’s any network — for viewers 18-49 years old.

The programming on Univision runs the gamut from the serious, to the sensual, to the silly: Noticiero Univision, the network’s evening newscast, airs weeknights with anchor Jorge Ramos and María Elena Salinas. The network’s telenovelas include Soy tu dueña and Eva Luna, among many others. And no Saturday evening would be complete without an appearance by the master showman Don Francisco, longtime host of Sábado Gigante.

To examine the role that Latinos play in the media, and how the media has a role in communities throughout the United States and Latin America, we turn first to the University of Texas at Austin’s America Rodriguez.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

Another perspective on Latinos and television comes from Flavio Morales at Mun2 [pronounced: mun-dos]. It is a hugely popular music and entertainment channel aimed at young Latinos. One of the most interesting things about the channel is that its hosts are continuously engaged in a complicated dance of code-switching, bouncing back and forth between English and Spanish within a single sentence. The rapid-fire Spanglish, and the channel’s tone and content, mirror the interests and behaviors of young Latinos.

Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.


THIS WEEK'S SHOW: In this week's show,…

This Week's Captions: Money...

THIS WEEK'S SHOW: From Puerto Rico to…


Audio visual notes for the hearing impaired.

Join the conversation

© 2015 Futuro Media Group

Contact /

Your privacy is important to us. We do not share your information.

[bwp-recaptcha bwp-recaptcha-913]

Tel /

+1 646-571-1220

Fax /

+1 646-571-1221

Mailing Address /

361 West 125st Street
Fourth Floor
New York, NY 10027