Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

LATINOS EXCLUDED FROM BURNS’ DOCUMENTARY “WAR”

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

LATINO REPRESENTATIVES MEET

WITH PBS PRESIDENT

ON LATINO EXCLUSION FROM

KEN BURNS’ WWII DOCUMENTARY

The President of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), Paula A. Kerger, met on Tuesday, March 6, 2007 with representatives from the Latino community at their headquarters in Crystal City, Virginia to discuss their concerns and recommendations about the exclusion of Latinos from producer Ken Burns’ forthcoming documentary, “The War”, on World War II.

Representing the Latino community at the meeting were Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez of the University of Texas at Austin; Gus Chavez of San Diego; Marta Garcia, co-chair and founder of the New York Chapter of the National Hispanic Media Coalition; Angelo Falcón of the National Institute for Latino Policy; and Ivan Roman of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. PBS was also represented by new PBS Board member Lionel Sosa, Senior Vice President/Chief TV Programming Executive John F. Wilson, Chief Content Officer John L. Boland, and Director of Corporate Communications and Media Relations Jan McNamara.

The PBS position on this issue at this point is:

· The Ken Burns 7-part documentary, “The War”, 6 years in the making, is completed and cannot be changed. The idea of PBS telling him to make changes to include Latinos would violate Burns’ artistic independence.

· PBS is putting resources to promote local programming by its 348 member stations around this documentary, the best of which they plan to promote at the national level. They are willing to work with the Latino community to make sure that the Latino involvement in WWII is addressed in this way.

· PBS may be willing to facilitate a meeting between Ken Burns and representatives of the Latino community to discuss this issue, as well as the Latino role in this future productions.

The Latino community representatives made the following points:

· The exclusion of Latinos from Ken Burns documentary is an insult to our community and nothing short of delaying the release of this film until it is edited to include Latinos is acceptable.

· We are willing to meet directly with Ken Burns as an independent producer to discuss our concerns.

· Why, if this documentary took six years to complete, did no one at PBS flag this problem of Latino exclusion earlier? We raise the need for PBS to consider instituting measures that prevent this type of exclusion from occurring in the future.

· There is a clear pattern of the neglect of Latinos in all of Ken Burns projects, so why hasn’t PBS been sensitive to this problem earlier?

· We have given Ms. Kerger one week, until Tuesday, March 13, 2007, to formally respond to us in writing.

For further information on this issue, please contact:

Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

School of Journalism

The University of Texas at Austin

1 University Station A1000

Austin, TX 78712

512-471-0405

Fax: 512-471-7979

mrivas@mail.utexas.edu

http://utopia.utexas.edu/explore/latino

Gus Chavez

Latino Community Development and Education Advocate

4674 Esther Street

San Diego, CA 92115

619-807-8938 (Cell)

619-286-9858 (Home)

Chavez1@mail.sdsu.edu

Marta Garcia

Co-Chair and Founder

New York Chapter

National Hispanic Media Coalition

101 Avenue of the Americas

New York, NY 10013

(212) 965-9758

mediacoalition@optonline.net

www.nhmc.org

Angelo Falcón

President and Founder

National Institute for Latino Policy

101 Avenue of the Americas

New York, NY 10013

212-334-5722

afalcon@latinopolicy.org

www.latinopolicy.org