June 24th, 2007
Misguided politicians urge latinos to avoid Spanish media
By Leo Laurence
California’s republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenger is urging Latino immigrants who want to learn English to avoid the Spanish media. Now, California’s Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles), who grew up in San Diego and Tijuana, is supporting the governor in his advice to immigrants.
Both are wrong! Very wrong.
San Diego county has a wealth of Spanish media in both print and broadcast media. They cover local, national and international news. They play a valuable role in keeping Spanish-speaking immigrants aware of the world around them.
Imagine if you – as an English-speaking American – were suddenly living in Moscow, and just slowly learning Russian. Your Russian vocabulary is limited. Reading the local Russian media is extremely difficult, at best. So, to keep abreast of world events, you turn to the English media available in Moscow.
That doesn’t mean that you stop learning Russian.
But, it does mean that you are learning about the events of the world around you.
Having spent years as a firefighter in Tijuana, Mexico; I personally know the importance of keeping up with the news even as I was taking courses in Spanish.
I strongly believe the Spanish media, particularly in California, plays a crucial role in keeping Latino immigrants well informed while they simultaneously learn English in classes.