NEWS FLASH! “Quantifying Hate Speech on Commercial Talk Radio”

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The UCLA Chicano Studies Department has some very interesting presentations and programming during the week.  Wish I didn’t have to work–darn! For the price of parking and some gas, you are invited to join these important topics taking place (mostly) at the UCLA Chicano Studies Department. 

I just saw this week’s Discussion Panel and Press Conference—and you are in luck, it’s just downtown.  For those of us looking at ourselves, our actions and (especially) our speech critically, this dialogue is crucial.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011
12:30 p.m. (PST)
634 S. Spring Street
Edison Room, 1st floor
Los Angeles, CA 90014

In a groundbreaking pilot study conducted by the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC) in partnership with the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), a team of researchers have developed a replicable methodology to quantify hate speech in commercial broadcasting—i.e., speech that expresses prejudice against ethnic, racial, religious, and/or sexual minorities. At this event, the principal investigators will officially release the study report. A panel discussion will include two other scholars working in this area.

Alex Nogales
President & CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition

Chon Noriega, Ph.D.
Director of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center
Professor in the UCLA Department of Film, Television, and Digital Media

Francisco Javier Iribarren, MSW-Psy.D.
Assistant Director of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center

Kelly Madison, Ph.D.
Professor of Television, Film & Media Studies at Cal State LA

Otto Santa Ana, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Chicana/o Studies at UCLA

From the press release:

“The researchers documented language that may be constitutive of hate speech in thirty to forty minute segments from three politically conservative talk radio programs: The Lou Dobbs Show: Mr. Independent (syndicated by the United Stations Radio Networks), broadcast July 31, 2008; The Savage Nation (produced at KFMB 760 AM and syndicated by Talk Radio Network), broadcast July 24, 2008; and The John & Ken Show (KFI AM 640, Los Angeles), broadcast July 30, 2008.

Using a new methodology that promises to advance understanding of the nature and prevalence of hate speech in commercial media, the research team found a significant incidence of speech that incorporates targeted statements against foreign nationals and members of racial, ethnic, and religious minorities. In addition to targeted statements, the study measured unsubstantiated claims, divisive language, and indexical terms (code words) related to political nativism.

Examination of conservative talk radio was chosen because research has shown it accounts for 91 percent of total weekday talk radio programming. In addition, radio has the greatest penetration of any media outlet (print, broadcast, or digital), reaching 90 percent of Americans each week and the news-talk format is the predominant radio format in terms of dedicated stations nationwide (over 1,700).

In addition to providing a new methodology to quantify hate speech in commercial talk radio, the study calls attention to the impact of on-air content on the Latino population, as well as highlights the issue of codes of professional conduct for journalists. Moreover, this study may generate questions about content, production, and distribution control and how that control affects the representation of vulnerable groups.”

Download the report here

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