Did We Suck?

Friday, July 04, 2014


After hearing the rest of this special hour, Latino Rebels co-founder Julio Ricardo Varela returns to tell Brooke if we accomplished our goal to "not suck" in our exploration of Hispanic media. He tells Brooke why we didn't do as well as we'd hoped, despite our best intentions.

Rita Indiana – Dulces Sueños (From the Dominican Republic)


Julio Ricardo Varela

Hosted by:

Brooke Gladstone

Comments [11]

Christian Sepulveda from 90631

The spanish version of breaking bad is
So horrible I cuddent even stand
To watch it for 3 consecutive min
It was pure torture they have no idea
How to recreate the magic that only screen
Writer frome the real show did he captured
Lightning in a bottle that is breaking bad
As for mexican channel 34s Metastasis that
Show is waterd down piss I wudent even pour
On my plant that was dieing of drought out on in the sun

Aug. 17 2014 01:28 AM
Chris Maciel from New Windsor, NY

Thanks for a wonderful show full of information and ideas about Latin America.

I am a Mexican-American but I'm bilingual so I follow the American press to the extent that I care about the press, but of course I have family that speak only Spanish so I like to keep up.

I get all my news from NPR and public radio - I listen to you at WAMC-fm, Albany NY.

But I identify as as a latin american because I have a different background and care about what's going on in other Spanish speaking countries, and I care about people who have a similar background to mine.

What I like about your show today was that you brought out the difficulties in appealing to the broad spectrum of experience that all Latin American citizens here share.
Certainly the main media pays no attention at all, except at election time but this will change as we have more representation in Congress, and have more of a voice.

The other part of the problem is that we're new to identifying as latin american since we've grown up with a stigma being brown-skinned and speaking Spanish.

It is only in my generation - I'm 73- that we are proud to speak of our ethnic background!

It was not so long ago we saw little or no actors on the screen or tv that were latin american, not because they were not there but because we were (together as a nation) blind to others that looked 'different'.

One thing you didn't mention is that the media makes little effort to pronounce Spanish names correctly.
This is really annoying.
Is it really so difficult?
I'm glad you talked about a manual of standards for radio/tv hosts the media should have a similar tool available.

Brooke, you do a fabulous job in pronouncing all names correctly. Thank You!

In Spanish general the rule is that the first syllable is emphasized in 2 syllable names: MAR-quez, Ro-DRI-guez, MA-ciel.

As for Latinos on NPR....we do have Richard Rodriguez & Claudio Sanchez!

Thanks. I love your show and listen regularly.It is one of the most intelligently produced show on NPR.

Jul. 10 2014 11:22 PM

An excellent hour. I enjoyed all the interviews but especially the one with Diego Trujillo, one of the very best actors in Colombia.

I try to watch at least one LatAm TV news broadcast every day (from Brazil, Chile, Puerto Rico, Colombia as well as Telemundo or Univision in the U.S.). I watch them because I want to know what is going on in the world outside the U.S. and have discovered that they, in contrast to U.S. news broadcasts, routinely cover news of not just their own countries and Latin America but the rest of the world - including major stories from the the U.S. It never ceases to amaze me that their viewers, in contrast to U.S. viewers, apparently want to know what is going on outside of their own countries even when the news has nothing to do with their own countries.

Perhaps you could incorporate more stories on media dedicated to Colombians, Mexicans, Ecuadorans, Brazilians, heck, to all the different immigrant groups in the U.S.from time to time. Or does one nation's emigrants to the U.S. have to reach some critical mass before they become important enough for us to know about their media resources?

Jul. 07 2014 10:06 PM
Marc from New York

I love that OTM takes the time to be self aware. I took Brooke's comment about him enjoying himself to be a challenge back to Varela to find out if he ever gives a rating higher than C+.

Although I would give OTM a C+ for not considering Brazil the other monolithic nation that influences Latin America, that single handed raising Portuguese to a significant language in the region. Extra credit would have been to cite the profound impact of the native South American cultures that placed an indelible stamp on the various Latin American Cultures, since this goes a long way towards explaining why you can't lump all hispanics into the same grouping.

But overall the show is great, not just for making the attempt, but acknowledging before hand that they were making a well meaning stab in the dark.

Jul. 07 2014 04:42 AM
FA from Sumner, WA

Thank you OTM for another great show! It was really interesting and so clear, as always, that you take your journalism seriously, but still keep your wonderful, quirky sense of humor too. One of the best programs on radio IMHO....

Jul. 07 2014 12:18 AM
Jane from NYC

I was delighted with the sheer fact of the show. But I want to see this as a recurring feature on OTM. You can't give it an hour and call it covered. How about a new program at least twice a year?

Jul. 06 2014 06:51 PM
thegardenerpolemic from Redwood City, CA

Where I live, "no me mames" means something more like "don't bullshit me;" not so much, as the program suggested, "don't do a sucky job."

I agreed with Mr. Varela's specific criticisms, but I agree with some of the other commenters that the delivery could have been more constructive, and I certainly don't think that Ms. Gladstone's gentle teasing was made "As if asking for someone's help in diagnosing biases and problems in a liberal, self-congratulating, seemingly culturally-sensitive media outlet was enough of a step in de-barrio-izing Latino reporting," as one commenter suggested.

Still, commenter knowlengr's suggestions sound great, and I can't think of anyone better suited to do these stories than OTM.

Bravo to On The Media for addressing the issue, and bravo again for putting your critics on the air, like you always do.

Jul. 06 2014 06:15 PM
una güera aprensiva from New York

I really wish Brooke hadn't had to resort to saying, "You're really enjoying this, aren't you?" (As if asking for someone's help in diagnosing biases and problems in a liberal, self-congratulating, seemingly culturally-sensitive media outlet was enough of a step in de-barrio-izing Latino reporting.) It made it seem like "On the Media" wanted to be congratulated for their complacency - when, really, it was a good effort, but could (and should) be done better.

"Where are the next Latino voices on NPR?"

Jul. 06 2014 11:17 AM

Love this "quality check" (ASQ would love it), even if the rater's opinions may not have been objective.

Some topics I would have liked to have seen:
- Coverage of Central and Latin America news (NPR and BBC coverage is occasional at best, the US TV network news is even worse)
- Impact of journalism training on this parochialism
- Perspectives of journalists from Mexico, Central/South America but based in the US or covering US from aboard - Objective? Less so? Legacy of colonialism? Free press?
- Status of Hispanic public networks (a la NPR) here & "abroad"
- Status of documentary-making by Hispanics (all media)
- Impact of the web vs. print media? Are the effects symmetric with US trends?

Jul. 06 2014 11:09 AM
Don Lencho

I thought Mr. Varela's comments, while one man's opinion, were not that constructive.

If there is one mistake you gringos/anglos/whiteys on the moon made,it was to put Varela forward as a spokesman for all of us Hispanics(?).

I loved the story about the Breaking Bad adaptation. And even if Mr. Varela does not like it, Latinos do watch telenovelas, a lot.

On The Media can't make Spanish/Latino media, he didn't even like all that talking about Spanish, what Mr. Varela wants it to be. I am sure Mr Varela is sincere, but he seems to have a very narrow view of how all the media should cover and produce programing about and for nosotros

Jul. 05 2014 10:48 PM
AB Kim from Calgary, Canada

It was really awesome for OTM to open itself up to criticism and feedback and then not get defensive about it. Take those lessons to heart and produce better stories about Hispanic media in the future!

Jul. 05 2014 02:30 PM

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