By Santiago David Távara
Image credit: Santiago Távara // Brazilian businessman PhelippeDaou Neto and Kellen Dunning, from Political Hispanic
WASHINGTON – Journalists and entrepreneurs celebrated the diversity in the press rooms during several events in Washington hosted by the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association (MMCA) on July 9th and 10th.
“We believe in the diversity of the media, especially now that we are heading towards the primary elections of 2020 in the United States,” David Morgan, co-founder of the MMCA over four years ago, said in a statement to PoliticalHispanic at a Press Club dinner.
“Although minorities make up 40 percent of the population, we do not have significant media ownership. There are studies that indicate that prejudice due to a lack of diversity in the press rooms contribute to intolerance throughout the country” he said.
Morgan said that “that’s why it’s important to focus on civic participation. In these four years, we have developed a strong level of congressional support for our efforts. ”
Eun Yang, a Korean-born reporter for NBC4 WRC-TV, said that “it is time for diverse voices to be heard in the media not only behind the cameras, but also in front of the cameras.”
“I think it’s been good to tell my story, to say where I came from. Your history, your family, your culture help you to be a better journalist. Being different gives me a unique voice and perspective that is an advantage” she noted.
One MMCA winner was businessman Parker Morse, founder of H CodeMedia, who highlighted the importance of the advertising of large companies in the Latin media. “The Hispanic market is not well represented and we needed an electronic platform to help that market in the digital part,” he noted.
“We have contacts with companies in the United States, Latin America and Spain. The Hispanic market is not an opportunity of the future, it is an opportunity for today, and it is in front of everyone, companies and media” he added.
Parker said that four years ago he founded his company “to help companies quickly advertise their products in the Hispanic market” and that nowadays “we have several companies on the Forbes list” that want to advertise in Spanish.
Another winner was journalist Verónica Villafañe, former president of the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHJ) and founder of the Media Moves website, who highlighted her beginnings in the US capital.
“Washington DC has been a very significant place in my life. It was where I had my first job, where I was elected president of the NAHJ and where I entered the Hall of Fame Association” she said.
“I am receiving thir award for raising Latino visibility in media through the Media Moves digital site, which I founded 12 years ago. I have become an expert in this, I have worked in media in Spanish and English, I know Latinos who have worked and are executives of Spanish television networks” she added.
In the NAHJ, Villafañe, of Argentine origin, pressed to achieve more programming for Latinos in Spanish, since before the conventions all the programming was in English.
Regarding the crisis and opportunities of journalism, the communicator reflected that “the main threat is that the media do not evolve towards the needs of the audience”.
“The most important problem is monetization, because as they say, the dog dances if it’s got money. Everybody wants free journalism, and it is not possible to do free journalism,” she said.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ALTERNATIVE VOICES
Paxton Baker, president of the Congressional Award Foundation and manager of LiquidSoul, said that the presence of minorities in media “allows you to define your own voice, and that nobody else tells your story, because you can fall prey to prejudice. An alternative is always good, wether it be Latino or African-American, which will not focus only on the negative,” he said.
Taylor Thomas, of WHUR 96.3 FM, challenged young minority professionals who are interested in working in the media to “tell their story, the passion they feel, to not be prejudiced and to tell the truth”.
Rashidi Hendrix, president of the Metallic Entertainment Group, said that this event, which also included seminars at the Washington Convention Center, “allows everyone to learn in a multicultural environment. You have to take advantage of opportunities.”
Brazilian businessman PhelippeDaou Neto, from the company Rede Amazónica, said that his biggest challenge in his work “is to interact with people and show what the Amazon is bigger than they think it is, to show its potential”.
“To the new generation of the millennium in the media, I recommend you travel a lot, do not stay in the bubble, go out and meet new people” he advised.
Political Hispanic is not responsible for the content of opinion articles, each author being responsible for their own creations. Translated by Political Hispanic.