LPRC Board Member selected Visiting Professor at prestigious university in the UK

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Dr. Federico Subervi, member and secretary of our LPRC Board of Directors, was selected to be Visiting Leverhulme Professor at the School of Media & Communication at the University of Leeds, UK.

The purpose of the invitation is to conduct academic work and enhance the knowledge and skills of the academic staff or student body.

This is an important distinction. The selection criteria includes academic standing and achievements, as well as the potential contribution by the visiting professor to the receiving institution.

Subervi has been a professor of communication at Kent State University and Texas State University. He earned his doctorate in Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since the early 1980s, he has been conducting research, publishing and teaching on a broad range of issues related to the mass media and ethnic minorities, especially Latinos in the United States. At the LPRC, he has been a driving force behind our efforts to conduct audience research for Latino public radio.

While at the University of Leeds, Subervi’s research will focus on political communication in Puerto Rico, his home country, and also on topics related to media and governance in Latin America.

All of us at the LPRC are happy with his achievement and look forward to learning about his research. ¡Felicitaciones, Federico!

Upon his return at the end of the year, he will continue his full participation and assistance with LPRC projects and goals.

LPRC Board Member Wins Emmy

Dr. Luis Rosario Albert won a Suncoast Regional Emmy in the category Historical Documentary for “El Coleccionista” about Dr. Jorge Luis Crespo Armáiz and his research on stereoscopic photography in Puerto Rico.

Stereoscopy is a technique to create images with the illusion of depth. It was most popular in the 19th century and well into the 1900s.

The documentary was produced and directed by Dr. Rosario Albert, LPRC Board member and communications professor at Universidad del Turabo in Puerto Rico. Two of his students, Roberto Sylva and Carlos Rivera, were part of the production team.

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Sylva, Dr. Rosario Albert and Rivera

It’s encouraging to see Latino productions recognized, especially in noncommercial and educational media.

“It is an honor to receive the award given by a professional organization such as the Emmys. I trust that this will serve as a stimulus to the students of Communications at a time when the documentary genre continues to strengthen in Puerto Rico,” said Rosario Albert.

You can watch “El Coleccionista” here.

Other big winners include productions by the TV unit of LPRC member WIPR. “Mater Atómica” by Guillermo Gómez, “Lorca es Todos” by Caridad Sorongo, and “La Mujer Maravilla Sobre Ruedas” by Yamara Rodríguez and Omar Camilo. Congratulations to all!

The Suncoast chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is a Florida nonprofit corporation devoted to excellence in television. They offer annual Emmy Awards, called The Suncoast Emmy Awards, to the television markets throughout the state of Florida, Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles and New Orleans, Louisiana, Mobile, Alabama, Thomasville, Georgia and Puerto Rico.

Embracing Community Means Sharing Culture

Rip Robbins from LPRC member station KSVR in Mount Vernon, WA writes about the station’s commitment to providing local voices and content for their audience, which for KSVR means providing Spanish language programming and sharing the Latino community culture with their Anglo audience. To be inclusive, KSVR incorporates into its programming the different languages and culture in their community. KSVR now has several programs that include local people talking to local people in both languages.

In the farming community north of Seattle, Latino migrant workers and residents had no local Spanish language media. In 1973, when KSVR-FM began operations, the first Spanish-language music program was heard in the Skagit (SKA-jit) Valley, and today that has evolved into 84 hours per week of music, news, and information. The sources are local, regional, national, and international!

KSVR has a mission to provide service to everyone in our community. That means we try to be inclusive with regard to accommodating the different languages, and that has led to more programs that feature “Dual Language” speakers. In these programs, the host will make sure that the guest discussion is paraphrased in the other language.

We don’t like literal translations, like the legal interpreters at a court. We promote conversation style paraphrasing, so the listener is not unduly burdened with repetitious translating. And we recognize that in sharing culture, it is the Anglo audience that needs educating about the “other”, the Latino community. We promote the idea that English-only listeners can tune in to hear “…what the Latino community is talking about….”

This idea came about due to an incident years ago, when the local health department wanted to talk about hazards of bacterial contamination of children’s toys after a terrible flood washed through much of our farm community. The representative from the health department did not speak Spanish, and the radio hosts were not fluently bilingual. The health department did not have a Spanish-language spokesperson and we struggled to translate and read the advisories on the air. I made the observation that we cannot exclude important guests from the radio just because they don’t speak Spanish. And we began the work on changing our programming to be more inclusive for the benefit of our Latino populations.

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KSVR Latino Program Coordinador Juan Arreguin works with international students to produce a one hour radio special. The foreign students each introduce songs from their home country, in English.

KSVR now has several programs with this format of local people talking to local people in both languages. That has opened the door for more community partners, such as State Employment, Health Centers, and educational services. Of course, more and more of these agencies and organizations are hiring bilingual and Spanish-speaking employees, so our job gets easier every year!

One source of regional information is a weekly program produced by Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs (CHA). The program originates in Seattle and features up to 11 government and non-government agencies. Another program is a local talk show featuring the appointed Commissioner for our area of the state, Manuel Reta. He makes a 45 minute drive to and from our studio, because he believes in the value of radio to reach his “constituency”.

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Talk show host Manuel Reta with guest Congresswoman Suzan Delbene and student engineer Karla Ayala.

The international and national news is provided by Satélite Radio Bilingüe. KSVR-FM has been an affiliate since 1997, and Línea Abierta gets the highest listener count (AQH) according to Nielsen Ratings.

News programming is considered the most expensive content to produce, requiring extensive ‘labor’. Reading headlines is not enough. In 2014 KSVR worked with long-time producer Miguel Gaitan to bring the first morning news program in Spanish to our community. Miguel creates a program on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The Monday show is repeated on Tuesday, the Wednesday show is repeated on Thursday, and the Friday show is repeated on Saturday. Because our local program does not need to include national news (already done by Radio Bilingue), we can air the program the following day without losing too much timeliness regarding the program content. By repeating the program, we are able to secure the same daypart across the week, to give listeners the “horizontal” programming strip that they know will air at that time of day.

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Example of local programming: featured on Ecos de La Comunidad are several representatives of labor advocacy groups who later in the day would be organizing in support of reform of labor practices for field workers in agriculture. In this photo: Jesús (no last name given), Oscar Sánchez, Ramón Torres, Miguel Gaitán, Edgar Frans and KSVR Rip Robbins.

One show that KSVR plans to take national is produced by the Skagit Valley Domestic Violence Prevention Services. The host producer, Adi Hernandez, had no radio experience when she started as co-host on this weekly program. She is now the sole host/producer, and frequently has guests who are English-only. The topics are relevant across our larger community, for every population group, and we believe this program is also relevant across the country. We are hoping to introduce a 30 minute version of her one hour program starting in late September (via Audioport and PRX).

KSVR has greatly expanded its programming due to its Community Service Grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  Everyone working at KSVR is extremely grateful for the support received.

KSVR is proud to be a member of LPRC since its inception, and we look forward to continuing the work that we love, and to share with others in the community radio family.