Tuesday, November 25, 2014

GUEST COMMENTARY: Kansas City's growing Hispanic community should be respected by media


KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- Kansas City is a fast growing city. It is considered the city of fountains and most recently it has been under the spotlight since it hosted a World Series game in its beloved Kauffman Stadium.

However, most people do not realize that Kansas City is home to a fast-growing Hispanic population.

According to a 2013 study conducted by the University of California Berkeley, Kansas City is number 45 on the list of the 60 Largest Metropolitan Areas in the United State with a Hispanic population.

The median age of people who are living in Kansas City and that are Hispanic is 24, which is around my age. About 37 percent of the Hispanic population is foreign born.

In my opinion, Hispanics are often marginalized in media. I feel that at times whenever there is a Hispanic news story on television, magazines, or on the radio, Hispanics are always seen as just immigrants or criminals.

The Kansas City Kansan does not highlight the Hispanic community a whole lot throughout the publication, but it does not depict the Hispanic population in Kansas City in a negative light like other publications throughout the Kansas City area do.

Don’t believe me? Just type in Hispanic on the Fox 4 News website and approximately over 75 percent of those results will be about a Hispanic and crime or immigration.

Publications across KC rarely touch on Hispanic victories across the metro area. Aside from the
Kansas City Hispanic News, not one publication highlighted the accomplishments of Daniel Contreras during Veterans Day; Contreras is a Kansas City Hispanic resident who served in Vietnam War.

It is not okay that when I type in Hispanic on any news site, I am bombarded with stories mainly about illegal immigration and crime. This leads me to believe that the Hispanic community is marginalized and stereotyped in today’s media and it is time to change this.

I hope that one day the media will begin to add more diversity to their programming. There is more to Hispanics than just crime and illegal immigration. Hispanics are victorious and influential just like their white counterparts. There also needs to be more diversity in the newsroom. Diversity in the newsroom will hopefully lead to a more balanced portrayal of different races in the media.

It is time to reclaim what it means to be Hispanic in America and it is time to change today’s media.