Posted at 5:13 pm. ET
The National Hispanic Media Coalition Wednesday will ask the FCC Wednesday to launch an inquiry into hate speech on radio and TV, but is not looking to bring back the so-called fairness doctrine.
“We are asking the FCC to open an inquiry to raise public awareness, to collect information about the extent and effect of hate speech, and to explore options for countervailing or reducing the negative impacts of such speech,” said Jessica Gonzalez, an attorney with the Institute for Public Representation, which will file the petition.
Inez Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for the NHMC, said that those options do not include asking the FCC to reimpose the fairness doctrine, which once required broadcasters to air both sides of controversial issues. She said the effort is more about raising awareness of the problem.
“We are very respectful of the first amendment and free speech," said NHMC President Alex Nogales in announcing a new three-pronged effort to combat what he called the "hateful rhetoric, particularly against the immigrant minority communities, espoused by irresponsible TV and radio talk show host on American airwaves." The debate over immigration reform has been a staple on talk radio, for example.
In addition to asking the FCC to open its inquiry, NHMC will unveil a study quantifying hate speech in commercial talk radio and ask the National Telecommunications & Information Administration to update its 1993 report, The Role of Telecommunications in Hate Crimes.
The group says it expects that an updated report will conclude that "there are in fact causal relationships between hate speech on radio and TV and violence against vulnerable groups."