In the late 1970s, Latina/o scholars began to examine the forgotten history of Spanish-language newspapers and radio in the United States, and the differences in purpose and content that these media outlets demonstrated as compared to their English-language counterparts. Latina/o media scholar-activists such as Jorge Reina Schement and Ricardo Flores (1977), Felix Gutiérrez (1977, 1981), and Federico Subervi-Vélez (1979) were some of the first to recognize that the lack of media coverage of Latina/o issues in mainstream outlets both created invisibility and placed a highly contested responsibility on Spanish-language and bilingual media. Additionally, this tension often did not mesh with the advertiser-supported structure that underpinned the broader mass media system in the United States. Although media outlets oriented toward Latina/o audiences viewed their readers, listeners, and viewers as cultural citizens who were attempting to claim a visible position within the American social landscape, the pressure for profits created an imagined Latina/o public that was dynamic only as consumers. This assimilation has consistently affected the political potential of Spanish-language and Latina/o commercial media in the United States. Yet despite the capitalist drive to utilize media outlets as corporate tools for Latina/o consumer marketing, the ongoing practices of Spanish-language media, especially community...

This essay may be found on page 129 of the printed volume.

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