A recent poll by National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) indicates that negative media stereotypes about Latinos continue to influence non-Latinos’ views of immigrants and Latinos. In particular, conservative radio and T.V., along with portrayals of Latinos as domestic workers, gardeners and low-wage earners are fueling ongoing negativity concerning Latinos and other minorities.

NHMC presented its poll findings at a joint press conference with the NAACP, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) and Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). The groups joined together to emphasize the negative—and potentially positive—effects that media has on public perceptions of persons of color and the LGBT community. 

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Through a combination of survey questions, and positive and negative video clips, print ads and audio clips, nearly 3,900 non-Latinos were polled as to how media influences their opinions of Latinos. The poll found that immediately after viewing negative media, respondents were more likely to rate Latinos as “unintelligent.” The poll also found that 17 percent of respondents believe that Latinos and undocumented immigrants are one and the same. Those who were regular viewers/listeners of Fox News and conservative talk radio had particularly negative views of Latinos, as well as less direct exposure to and experience with Latinos. Further, with more than 60 percent of the public relying on mainstream media for information, these negative portrayals permeate viewers’ opinions of Latinos.

While the high-profile presence of Latinos at both the Republican and Democratic national conventions is encouraging, it appears that mainstream media still has a long way to go in terms of presenting accurate portrayals of Latinos and other minorities.

Read the full press release at NHMC.