Survey: Media Depictions Influence Impressions Of Latinos
September 14, 2012

SAN DIEGO -- A new survey finds that the media has a pretty significant influence on how you feel about Latinos.

The polling firm Latino Decisions exposed 3,000 non-Latinos to articles, video, and audio clips portraying Latinos both positively and negatively, then asked how they felt about Latinos.

When asked if Latinos were intelligent after seeing clips that portrayed them negatively, respondents were more likely to say no. The reverse was true when they were exposed to positive portrayals.

The poll also found that respondents reacted more negatively to the commonly used term ‘illegal alien’ than to the term ‘undocumented immigrant.’

And it found that the audiences of conservative TV and radio and were more likely to hold anti-immigrant and anti-Latino views despite having less personal interaction with Latinos.

Alex Nogales, president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, which commissioned the poll, said his group would use the results to request a federal study on the impacts of hate speech in the media and to lobby news agencies for more positive coverage of Latino issues.