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ASU professor charts rise of Spanish-language media

March 03, 2011

The most dramatic development in modern-day American mass media is not Facebook, MySpace, blogging or the social media. Nothing has expanded more rapidly, and has greater implications, than the meteoric rise of Spanish-language television, says Craig Allen, ASU journalism and mass communications professor.

Allen’s “The Influence of Spanish Language Media in Arizona” is the subject of the next Humanities Lecture Series at ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus. Hosted by ASU’s School of Letters and Sciences and University College, the lecture is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m., March 24, at the Nursing and Health Innovation Building Two, 550 N. Third St., Phoenix, Innovation Auditorium, Room 110.

The spring 2011 Humanities Lecture series is free and open to the public.

Allen, associate professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, will relate his four years of research into the history of Spanish-language television, its remarkable growth, and some of the social effects that extend from the Spanish TV explosion.

“This field’s most interesting aspect is the story of its development,” Allen said. “While ignored by scholars and unknown to most of the American public, Spanish television provides the modern model of mass communication. It has a history and tradition completely different from English television. It is the Spanish tradition that, if the U.S.  hopes to remain media savvy, Americans today must know.”

Allen says we are at a critical time in our country’s history when Spanish-speaking individuals comprise America’s only growing population at an estimated 70 million people. That number is expected to double by 2050, representing about one-third of the U.S. population.

“Spanish television is not just a social phenomenon but is one of America’s most amazing business success stories of this century,” Allen said. “It started with nickels and dimes and today it is a multibillion dollar enterprise.”

Allen has been active as a consultant to television news organizations outside the United States and is the author of two books – "News Is People: The Rise of Local TV News" (Wiley-Blackwell, 2001) and "Eisenhower and the Mass Media" (University of North Carolina Press Enduring Editions, 1994). He is currently writing a book on the history of Spanish television.

For directions, visit For parking information, visit For more information, call Mirna Lattouf, series lecture organizer, at (602) 496-0638 or visit