Hispanics Consume Media In Both Spanish And English, Study Finds

Adding data to the controversy over which language Hispanics use to consume their media, a new study finds that both English- and Spanish- language media play a significant role in their choices. The finding comes just as the dominant Hispanic network, Univision, is aggressively pitching Madison Avenue on the need to reach Latinos in Spanish.

The study, released Monday by the Pew Hispanic Center, makes it clear that it isn't as simple as English-dominant homes choosing English-language programs and Spanish-dominant households choosing Spanish-language shows.

Many Hispanic Americans, regardless of language preference, receive news in both Spanish and English.

The study found that English-dominant Hispanics still turn to Spanish-language media for news about their communities and from Latin America. And even among the Latinos who were born abroad, about half receive at least some of their news in English.

The study's authors said that it brought home the importance of Spanish-language media in the eyes of the U.S. Hispanic population. It dominated most demographics because consumers believed that it was the best place to get information that was important to their lives. Seventy-eight percent of Latinos believed Spanish-language news media were very important to the development of the Hispanic population.



English-language media takes its lumps for a perceived bias against Hispanic Americans; 44 percent of Hispanics surveyed believe that the English-language media contribute to a negative perception of Latinos. The Pew Center said it was higher among Latinos who spend the most time with English-language news media.

Only one segment of the Latino population--likely voters in the U.S. election--preferred English-language media.

Other findings of the study:

-- The Spanish-only share of the Hispanic network television audience was more competitive than the other media.

-- A small preference for English-language television news was detected, with 40 percent watching only English-language news compared to 29 percent for Spanish-only and 31 percent who switch between the two.

-- More than 62 percent of Hispanics get their news from English-language newspapers, compared to only 21 percent for Spanish-language papers.

The Pew Hispanic Center surveyed more than 1,300 Latinos nationwide between Feb. 11 and March 11.

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