One of the most remarkable characteristics of the Hispanic media is the sheer size of its audience. There are approximately 40 million Hispanics in the US, the largest US minority, and 88% of them view Spanish language television (Porter 55). The number of Hispanic television viewers in Los Angeles is greater than the entire viewing audience in Boston (Ballve 20). In addition, nearly 80% of Hispanics listen to Spanish speaking radio and has resulted in Hispanic advertising growing at a rate of 20% in 2002 nearly 3 times the English speaking rate (Porter 55). These statistics translate into dollars as Hispanic radio and TV stations and their broadcasting networks bring in billions of dollars.
Before the media industry was worth billions of dollars while selling politics and products to millions of listeners, there were newspapers and periodicals. Kanellos points out that there are two distinctive Hispanic media in the US; the immigrant media, and the primarily native Hispanic press, which is directed at the US citizens of Hispanic descent (4). By the mid-nineteenth century, both natives and immigrants were creating Spanish speaking newspapers and periodicals (Kanellos 3). These circulations would form the genesis of the Hispanic press and the coming electronic media. Kanellos contends that in 1910, during the massive immigration of economic and political refugees from Mexico into the US, the Hispanic press began to define itself. Publishers and columnists advocated using the press for the "defense of the community" (Kanellos 4). According to Kanellos, "...defense meant protecting immigrants civil and human rights, but just as important it also meant protecting the community from the influence of Anglo-American culture and the Protestant religion" (4). It is on this foundation that the Hispanic media has been able to build a cohesive base that centers on a common