Spanish-language Univision goes mainstream with Democratic presidential debate

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Mon Sep 10 13:22:50 UTC 2007

Spanish-language Univision goes mainstream with Democratic presidential debate

The Associated Press
Saturday, September 8, 2007

MIAMI: For the first time in a U.S. presidential campaign, candidates
vying for the Democratic nomination will take part in a debate Sunday
that will be broadcast across the U.S. in Spanish. The event, held at
the University of Miami and broadcast by the Univision Network, marks
the Democratic candidates' recognition of the growing political muscle
that the country's more than 44 million Hispanics could wield in the
2008 election.

Seven of the eight Democratic candidates will be taking part in the
debate — including front-runners Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New
York, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and former North Carolina Sen.
John Edwards. Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, fresh off a trip to Iraq,
will not be participating in the debate.

"You used to talk about California, New York, Florida and Texas," said
Harry Pachon, head of the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute, a Latino
issues think tank. "This marks that there is now a national Latino
presence, rather than a regional presence."

Sunday also marks a coming out for Univision, the fifth-most watched
network in the U.S., and its top anchors, Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena
Salinas, co-hosts for the forum.

Both are award-winning journalists who have interviewed several U.S.
presidents. They write syndicated newspaper columns, published around
the country in Spanish and English. Both have also been outspoken in
their support for immigration reform that includes a path to
legalization for the country's 12 million illegal immigrants.

Yet Salinas and Ramos, who co-anchor the Univision's nightly newscast,
remain relatively unknown to the majority of Americans.

Los Angeles native Salinas has spearheaded national voter registration
efforts during the last four presidential elections, as well as public
health awareness campaigns. Ramos, who was born in Mexico City,
recently authored a book about the 2003 deaths of 19 illegal
immigrants who suffocated in the back of a truck in Texas. He has also
covered wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"We are proud to be giving the candidates and the Hispanic voters a
one-of-a-kind opportunity for a direct dialogue," Ramos said in a
statement Friday.

Ramos and Salinas, both of whom are fluent in English, will ask their
questions in Spanish. The candidates will respond in English, with
their answers translated into Spanish. Viewers who want to hear the
forum in English can watch it using the closed caption service on
their TV.

Univision invited the Republican candidates for a similar forum, but
only Sen. John McCain of Arizona accepted.

Attending a Univision forum should be a no-brainer, said Joe Garcia,
executive vice president of the nonprofit NDN Network, and the head of
the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, which helped organize the event.

"The Hispanic community is the most significant swing constituency in
American politics," Garcia said. "Univision is as important to
political elections as NBC, CBS and ABC. You get invited, and you show

 Copyright (c) 2007 The International Herald Tribune |

N.b.: Listing on the lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service to
its members
and implies neither approval, confirmation nor agreement by the owner
or sponsor of
the list as to the veracity of a message's contents. Members who
disagree with a
message are encouraged to post a rebuttal. (H. Schiffman, Moderator)

More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list