One out of three non-Latino Americans mistakenly believe that a majority of Hispanics are undocumented immigrants, and according to a new poll [PDF], the media is largely responsible for this misconception.
...[the data suggests] that more than 30 per cent of Americans are certain that more than half of all Latinos living in the U.S. are here illegally, although the actual figure stands at around 18 per cent.
In addition, only 37 per cent of U.S. Hispanics are actually immigrants from other countries.
One of two non-Latinos think 'welfare recipient' describes more than half of all Latinos very or somewhat well, as well as 'less educated' and 'refuse to learn English,' NBC Latino reported.
Results of a new poll released by the National Hispanic Media Coalition and Latino Decisions point an accusing finger at the media, which feature negative portrayals of Latinos that help shape public opinion.
'The media is doing a disservice with coverage that is misleading the public about Latinos who live in the U.S.,' said National Hispanic Media Coalition president and CEO Alex Nogales.
'It is producing attitudes among non-Latinos that contribute to hate speech and hate crimes. We must demand that the media do a better job with its coverage.'
Latino Decisions conducted an online interactive experiment with over 3,000 non-Latino participants who were randomly shown either negative or positive one-minute clips of Hispanics.
According to the study, being exposed to just one negative clip made it more likely that the viewer would associate Hispanics with crime, families that are too large and illegal immigration.
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