Source: The New York Times
By TANZINA VEGA
Published: July 23, 2013
An increasing number of Hispanics in the United States are getting their news in English, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Pew Hispanic Center.
Eighty-two percent of Latino adults surveyed said that at least some of the news they followed in 2012 was in English, an increase from 78 percent in 2006. Nearly a third of Hispanics, 32 percent, said they got their news exclusively in English, according to the report, compared with 22 percent in 2006. At the same time, the consumption of Spanish news decreased among Hispanic adults, with 68 percent saying they got some of their news in Spanish, compared with 78 percent in 2006.
Part of what is driving these changes is the shifting demographics among the 52 million Latinos in the United States. Immigration of Hispanics to the United States is slowing, and more of the Latino population was either born or raised in the United States, increasing the level of English fluency. More than half of the adult Latino population in the United States, 59 percent, speaks English proficiently.
“U.S. births are going to take over Hispanic population growth going forward,” said Mark Hugo Lopez, the director of the Pew Hispanic Center and a co-author of the report.
The report’s findings bode well for mainstream English-language news media outlets as well as news platforms that cater to bilingual or English-speaking Latinos like Fusion, a joint venture between ABC and Univision that targets bicultural Hispanic millennials.
Mirroring the media consumption patterns of other groups, more Latinos said they were getting their news via the Internet, 56 percent compared with 37 percent in 2006. The percentage of Latinos who got their news from television dropped slightly to 86 percent from 92 percent in 2006, but still beat radio and print newspapers.
News organizations that cater to Spanish-speaking communities will continue to have an audience. According to the report, 70 percent of Hispanic adults said that Spanish-language news outlets did an excellent or good job covering issues relevant to Latinos in the United States, while 59 percent expressed the same feelings about English-language news media.
An increasing number of Hispanics in the United States are not only bilingual in English and Spanish but also bicultural, identifying with American and Latino heritage, Mr. Lopez said. And 35 million Hispanics over the age of 5 speak Spanish at home.
“We do see some patterns within the Hispanic community that suggests an interest in maintaining some ties to cultural roots,” he said. “We have found that young Latinos are being told by their parents to emphasize their cultural identity.”
Whereas past generations of Latinos tried to assimilate by embracing an American identity at the expense of their ethnic roots, many Latinos today identify with both cultures, Mr. Lopez said. “That suggests there may be a market for entertainment and news that is focused on Hispanics in the United States,” he said.