The FCC action denying license renewal to KMEX, after 23 years in Los Angeles, begs the question: Who will serve the issues and concerns of the Latino community?
Traditionally, the mainstream media concentrates on sensational images of Latinos--as involved in gangs, murders or drugs. In contrast, KMEX consistently provides access to a broader, more accurate perspective.
When the Latino community held a 1984 rally to voice concerns over the Simpson-Mazzoli immigration bill, KMEX was there to show our strength. When an RTD rate hike was being considered, KMEX was there to discuss its impact on East Los Angeles. And when Latino cultural heritage is celebrated during Cinco de Mayo and 16th of September, KMEX provides first-rate coverage.
KMEX goes beyond reporting to act as a community leader in time of crisis. Without KMEX's immediate outreach to Spanish-speaking viewers, more lives would have been lost to Jalisco cheese poisoning. When the earthquake struck Mexico, KMEX quickly set up phone lines for people to call their missing relatives. The $5 million KMEX raised from viewers for earthquake relief demonstrated their effectiveness in mobilizing the compassion of our community. Navidad en el Barrio , an annual toy drive for disadvantaged children, emphasizes KMEX's responsibility to local needs too.
Spanish-language television opens channels to Los Angeles' Latino neighborhoods. Without stations like KMEX, one-third of our city's population would lack access to current, relevant information.