Telemundo Network News Executive VP Ramon Escobar delivered a fiery call to arms during his Programmer Keynote Wednesday afternoon at B&C/MCN's Hispanic TV Summit in NYC, urging the Hispanic TV leaders in the room to prove their leadership amidst the grave challenges facing the Spanish-speaking community today.
Escobar identified a number of challenges to the community, including the Arizona law focused on cracking down on illegal immigration and hate crimes in Staten Island. He blasted the Tea Party movement and Fox News for stoking anti-immigration fires.
"I feel the Latino community is living its own civil rights moment," he said.
Escobar said all of the above spelled major opportunity for Hispanic media to play a role in the revolution. "Have the courage to be a voice for those who do not have one," he said. "Call out leaders when they fail us-or attack us."
He also called out Univision, though not by name, for following instead of leading, by his account, when the harsh immigration legislation became a reality in Arizona last spring. Telemundo, he said, had boots on the ground in Arizona throughout the legislative ordeal-and ensuing protests. "That's what it means when you develop a very important voice for the voiceless," said Escobar.
Escobar, 41, has held several prominent roles within the news divisions of both Telemundo and NBC. He urged the media types in attendance to use the various digital platforms at their disposal-blogs, Twitter, Skype-to get critical content in front of the community. "This revolution will be more than televised," he said. "Courageous content will be king-that will win the day."