California – On May 13, 2021, the Latino Media Collaborative released Essential and on the Brink: California’s Community Media Sector, a new report that outlines necessaryinvestments needed to ensure that Latinos &Communities of color across the state are receiving information & resources that are trusted, vetted and potentially life saving. The report provides an overview of California’s community media sector, the diverse communities it serves, the challenges faced, and recommendations for the state’s response based on analysis of existing policies and regulations in California and throughout the country. Community media has played a vital and trusted role as messenger to diverse and often vulnerable populations, COVID-19 exposed the importance of accurate, timely and vetted sources to be readily available in times of crisis.
Underinvestments by large advertisers and government agencies urrenlty pose a significant threat to reliable local news for underserved communities. For example, for nearly one in five Latino households with limited English language proficiency, community media are oftentimes the only accessible option for in-language news and information.
“Investments incommunity media are crucial and potentially life saving when we consider information on vaccine distribution, resources, services and economic relief. Latinos have the highest need and are often the last in line to gain access – a big factor is having accurate and relevant information for our community,” said Arturo Carmona, President of the Latino Media Collaborative.
Gabriel Lerner,Editor at La Opinion and Impremedia stated, “As the state allocates funds for vaccine distribution, economic relief, and other critical COVID-19 recovery efforts in its 2021-2022 budget, sustained and coordinated investment in community media will be essential to ensure an equitable pandemic response and the survival of this vital community-serving resource for years to come.”
KEY REPORT RECOMMENDATIONS:
To ensure an equitable pandemic response and the survival of this vital community-serving resource for years to come, the report recommends that the California executive branch:
• allocate at least $56 million to community media outlets in its 2021-2022 budget,
• mandate that agencies spend 50% of their advertising budgets on community media serving those communities most impacted by the COVID pandemic, and
• develop and fund the infrastructure to facilitate effective coordination between agencies and outlets.
The Latino Media Collaborative is an emerging non-profit organization that develops high-impact media and outreach campaigns in partnership with the Latino media sector to advance an informed and highly engaged Latino community.
Visit the Latino Media Collaborative website https://www.latinomedia.org/ for more information and to view the report.