Ground-breaking Study Released on Hate Speech in Talk Radio, FCC Action Urged

The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), one of the foremost Latino media advocacy and civil rights organizations in the United States, has released a new study on hate speech in commercial talk radio as part of recommendations for a three-pronged approach to address hate speech in the media more generally. Alex Nogales, President & CEO of NHMC said, "We are very respectful of the first amendment and free speech, but the hateful rhetoric, particularly against immigrant minority communities, by irresponsible TV and radio talk show hosts on American airwaves needs to be addressed."

The pilot study by the UCLA/Chicano Studies Research Center (attachment below) takes a new approach to the challenge of quantifying the problem, making use of the established definition of hate speech by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.  The preliminary research suggests that there are four different types of hate speech directed at vulnerable groups and social institutions perceived to be in collusion with them. "We see this effort as establishing a scientific methodology and baseline for larger studies dealing with hate speech in the media," explained CSRC Director Chon Noriega. 

The second aspect of NHMC's three-pronged approach is a petition to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to open a formal inquiry into hate speech (summary attached below).  The petition was drafted by the Institute for Public Representation (IPR), a public interest law firm and clinical education program at Georgetown Law that has been collaborating with civil rights groups to address the issue while simultaneously respecting First Amendment freedoms. "We are asking the FCC to open an inquiry to raise public awareness, to collect information about the extent and effect of hate speech, and to explore options for countervailing or reducing the negative impacts of such speech," explained Jessica Gonzalez, an attorney at IPR.

Finally, the NHMC has officially requested that the Secretary of Commerce, or in the alternative, Congress, direct the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to update its now outdated 1993 report entitled: "The Role of Telecommunications in Hate Crime."  It is hoped that the use of new scientific methodologies in updating the NTIA report will help determine whether there are, in fact, causal relationships between hate speech on radio/TV and violence against vulnerable groups.

Please go to for more information on this initiative and the National Hispanic Media Coalition.
Hate Speech NHMC.pdf97.58 KB
FCC Petition Hate Speech in Media.doc58 KB