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Hispanic Heritage Month specialreports to be aired by Latino USA

Five special reports focusing on the culture and politics of the nation’s burgeoning Latino community will be aired during Hispanic Heritage Month by Latino USA,  the radio journal of news and culture produced at The University of Texas at Austin.

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AUSTIN, Texas– Five special reports focusing on the culture and politics of the nation’s burgeoning Latino community will be aired during Hispanic Heritage Month by Latino USA,  the radio journal of news and culture produced at The University of Texas at Austin.

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 to coincide with independence day celebrations in a number of Latin American countries. It also is a time to recognize the contributions of the country’s Latinos, now estimated at more than 26 million people.

The special reports by Latino USA,  which is distributed by National Public Radio, are a production partnership of KUT-FM and the Center for Mexican American Studies at UT Austin.

The first program focuses on the impact of media on Latino children. It features the perspectives of young people, psychologists, sociologists, teachers and media critics on the effect that stereotypical images in the media have on the development of identity and self-esteem. This program will be available for broadcast Sept. 12.

The diversity of current Hispanic-American literature is the focus of the second report. It features writers speaking and reading from their works at an event at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. They include Cuban-American author Gustavo Perez Firmat, Puerto Rican writer Rosario Ferre and Mexican-American author Norma Cantu. This report will be available for broadcast the week of Sept. 19.

The third report profiles Lalo Guerrero, a pioneering Chicano singer-songwriter who was honored by President Clinton for his bilingual musical legacy. This program will be available for broadcast Sept. 26.

Available for broadcast on Oct. 3, the fourth report examines the unique contributions and influences of Tejano writers. National Public Radio reporter John Burnett takes a look at the work of veteran Tejano writers Americo Paredes and Rolando Hinojosa-Smith, as well as a more current crop of Tejano authors, including Carmen Tafolla, Sandra Cisneros, Dagoberto Gilb and David Rice.

The final program, slated for broadcast on Oct. 10, focuses on major Latino political leaders, including members of the bipartisan Congressional Hispanic Caucus, as they analyze the current political climate, including the debates over affirmative action and immigration.

“The reports we air for Hispanic Heritage Month give us an opportunity to showcase the best of what Latino USA   produces at a time when the nation is reminded of the contributions of a sometimes forgotten segment of our society,” said Latino USA’s executive producer Maria Martin.

These special reports celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month as well as Latino USA’s fourth anniversary. First broadcast in 1993, Latino USA  is heard on about 180 stations nationwide, including stations in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

The Hispanic Heritage Month special programs are slated for broadcast beginning the week of Sept. 12 through Oct. 10. Check your local public radio station for air time.

For additional information, call 512/475-6767.