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Word Count: 1,562
Today more than ever mass media communications play a vital role in informing the daily decisions that shape our lives Similarly opinion polls and images that are broadcast persistently over the airways increasingly influence the public policies and programs that govern our nation The entertainment industry is a closed industry with few opportunities to gain access Many who manage an entrance do so by taking internships at studios networks and production companies etc These opportunities are given to young adults known to persons already within the industry -- usually to their acquaintances family and friends Since there are few Latinos in the industry the opportunities given to them are rare When viewing the images seen on the screen people write about what they know Since there is only a sprinkling of Latino writers being produced the Latino image with a Latino perspective is rarely seen Instead what you see is non-Latinos ideas of what a Latino is Often this image comes from the negative stereotypes writers have seen in film and TV or the news or from Latinos they know most of whom are their waiters maids gardeners or nannies As Latinos are the largest and fastest growing minority in our nation they represent a significant proportion of the viewership of these media outlets Correspondingly their self-perceptions and interactions with the media should play an important role in determining how the media are governed and how Latinos can demand accountability from those who regulate them There are to be definite distinctions in how Latinos are portrayed or even publicized in our US media When we look at America today many may coin the term Hyphenated America land of Italian-Americans Irish-Americans German-Americans African-Americans and Mexican-Americans The hyphenated identity has deep roots in American racial and ethnic history This is the context in which Latinos must be considered as yet another hyphenated identity - but there are obvious crucial distinctions to be made For
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