The Impact of Media Stereotypes on Opinions and Attitudes Towards Latinos

The Impact of Media Stereotypes on Opinions and Attitudes Towards Latinos

While the impact of media stereotypes of Latinos and immigrants on non-Latino Americans' perception of those groups varies by age, familiarity, and other factors, there are consistent differences that seem to be correlated to the news sources one regularly consumes, a report from the National Hispanic Media Coalition and Latino Decisions finds. Based on a survey of non-Latinos as well as an online experiment in which non-Latinos were surveyed after watching video clips, reading articles, or listening to audio clips about Latinos and immigrants, The Impact of Media Stereotypes on Opinions and Attitudes Towards Latinos (84 pages, PDF) found that the stereotypes respondents believed to be true reflected the images, characters, and stories they commonly encounter in television, film, and radio programming. And while young people and those who personally know someone who is Latino tend to have more positive views of Latinos as a group, conservative radio and Fox News program viewers were found to have less favorable opinions of Latinos and immigrants on nearly every measure. Funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the report also found that language is a key influencer of perception — e.g., "illegal alien" elicited a more negative reaction from survey respondents than did "undocumented immigrant."