The Minority Media & Telecommunications Council and other minority-advocacy organizations asked the Federal Communications Commission to publish a Spanish-language version of its recently released Emergency Alert System handbook, saying that not to do so could endanger Spanish-speaking people and potentially non-Spanish speakers, as well.
While the MMTC called the release of the handbook a "welcome step," it suggested that the step was not as welcoming to a key target population -- the almost 20 million U.S. residents who speak Spanish in their homes.
In addition, wrote David Honig -- counsel to the MMTC, as well as the Independent Spanish Broadcasters Association and the United Church of Christ -- "some broadcast employees who might be on duty during an emergency are not fluent in English."
Without a Spanish-language version of the handbook, Honig argued, "a portion of our population is left vulnerable to the life-or-death consequences of natural disasters, threats and attacks to our country."
An FCC official said he was checking on the status of the request.