Moyers: The Rise of Hispanic America
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BILL MOYERS: Were you angry? Were you hurt?
JORGE RAMOS: We don't want to be invisible. So we are not invisible, so we're just making sure that even with an accent that people hear what we're saying, you know. Yes, of course.
MARÍA ELENA SALINAS: Yeah, we are mainstream. You usually try to separate us from ethnic media and mainstream media. We are mainstream media. And when you look at the ratings we compete directly with ABC, CBS and NBC. And many times in major cities we have higher ratings.
JORGE RAMOS: We are the fifth largest network.
BILL MOYERS: Yeah.
MARÍA ELENA SALINAS: The difference between us and them, and we really, it should really fall under the same category, is the language that we're, we transmit in a different language. However now we're changing that and that's why we have--
BILL MOYERS: What do you mean?
MARÍA ELENA SALINAS: We're changing that now because now we have this joint venture with ABC and we are going to be doing the same thing that we do in Univision, but we'll do it in English so that we can make sure that we have all the market. And the special thing about that is that it's not only for that sector of Latinos who is more English dominant and prefers to speak English.
But I think it actually contributes to the society and to democracy in this country so that everyone who speaks English in this country understands who Latinos are, what are the issues that affect us. Maybe they need to know what's going on with their neighbors south of the border. You know, here you have this continent that sometimes it seems that people in the north don't like to look south and they don't realize that we are one continent and that this what, over 300 million people there that speak Spanish and that affect us, and directly affect us economically.
BILL MOYERS: What does it say that you're moving into the larger English speaking--
MARÍA ELENA SALINAS: Well--
BILL MOYERS: --audience?
JORGE RAMOS: What it's saying is that her daughters and my son and my daughter, they don't watch us. Because they feel much more comfortable in English.
MARÍA ELENA SALINAS: In English.
JORGE RAMOS: Their friends don't watch us. Their generation is not watching us. So either we change or we're going to be out of here. And so there's always going to be space in Spanish, but what has, there's been, even within the Hispanic community something has been changing.
We used to get the majority of the growth because of immigration. That has changed. The border is stronger than ever. The number of undocumented immigrants has decreased from 12 million to 11 million. So the majority of the growth is coming from within the Hispanic community and that means—
MARÍA ELENA SALINAS: U.S. born.
JORGE RAMOS: --U.S. born. That means most Latinos, new Latinos, Juan, Jose, Pedro, Jorge, they're all speaking English. They feel more comfortable in English than in Spanish. So if we don't do something to attract them they're going to watch you.
BILL MOYERS: Well, I hope you can--
MARÍA ELENA SALINAS: We want them to watch you, we want them to watch you.
BILL MOYERS: --accept the status quo.
MARÍA ELENA SALINAS: But, you know, I really don't think Spanish is going to go anywhere, and let me tell you why. You know, the immigrants that came from Europe in the last century, they came here wanting to get away from their country and decided that they wanted to establish roots here.