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Cleveland TV station execs to meet with Hispanic Roundtable

By Kevin Milliken, La Prensa Correspondent

Representatives from a Cleveland TV station will meet Wed., May 28, 2014 with members of the Hispanic Roundtable to get their feedback on how to provide better news coverage of the Latino community in Northeast Ohio. The meeting will be held at the Julia De Burgos at El Barrio, 5209 Detroit, Cleveland, starting at 5:30 p.m.

Stephanie Ramírez

The community outreach meeting will be attended by WEWS-TV/Newschannel 5 news management and multimedia journalists. They are seeking feedback and suggestions to improve serving the Latino community.  One of the bright stars of WEWS-TV/Newschannel 5 is its reporter Stephanie Ramírez.

An invitation to the event suggests attendees consider which local stories they would like to see reported about the Latino community, as well as what journalists can do differently. The invitation also encourages Latino leaders to ask questions about future plans for improved coverage.

It’s unclear whether the two are related, but the WEWS-TV meeting comes just weeks after the Cleveland and Ohio chapters of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) demanded a meeting with Cleveland Plain Dealer and Northeast Ohio Media Group executives after a column was published denouncing undocumented immigrants as more interested in earning money than obtaining citizenship. [See Letter to the Editor on page 2.]


Still, such a meeting with TV news execs would further the nonprofit Hispanic Roundtable’s mission “to act  as a catalyst to empower the Hispanic Community to become full partners in  economic, education, political, civic and social life of Greater Cleveland.” Volunteer-led committees currently are working to advance an agenda formed at last fall’s Convención Hispana that focuses on the areas of education, empowerment, health, and workforce/economic development.


Hispanic Roundtable chairman José C Feliciano Sr. will develop a series of requests to the media in Greater Cleveland, including “more reporters, more access to news, more access to local public affairs shows, access to public service announcements, and potential editorials.” Attorney Feliciano also intends to request a “point person” at Newschannel 5 to facilitate communication with the greater Latino community in Cleveland.  TV station executives also will be asked to put on a “nuts and bolts” workshop for community groups, such as the Spanish-American Committee, on how to access WEWS-TV.

“There has been marginal improvement. The local media, in general, are woefully under informed about our community. The national Hispanic story has informed them somewhat. We simply are not very high on their agenda,” lamented Feliciano. “In general, they need to do a much better job to cover our community. We are undervalued and overlooked.”

But the Hispanic Roundtable chairman was quick to point out that Latino leaders “bear part of the responsibility to bring issues and matters to their attention.” He called the community forum “an effort by the Hispanic Roundtable to help do that.”

According to the Convención Hispana Facebook page, approximately 20 people plan to attend the community forum. Others were asked to register by a Memorial Day deadline by emailing [email protected].

Editor’s Note: In general, mainstream media is often unfamiliar with Latino culture and tradition and often fails to highlight many of its positive contributions. Moreover, mainstream media often refers to “illegal” immigrants instead of “undocumented” immigrants, the latter being the more accurate and less explosive terminology. Mainstream media generally uses the word “American” when referring to a resident of the United States, whereas, in reality, any individual from North, Central, or South America is an “American.”


Copyright © 1989 to 2014 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 05/27/14 20:11:30 -0700.




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