February 22, 2013




   

LATINO USA BECOMES FIRST RADIO PROGRAM TO COMMENCE REGULAR RADIO CAPTIONING DISTRIBUTION


IN ASSOCIATION WITH NPR LABS AND TOWSON UNIVERSITY'S INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR ACCESSIBLE RADIO TECHNOLOGY

Latino USA, the foremost Latino voice in public media and the longest running Latino-focused program on radio, will soon be the first radio program to commence equal-access distribution via Captioning for Radio. The captioned version of the Latino USA, which is hosted by four-time Emmy award winning journalist Maria Hinojosa and distributed by NPR, will target audiences who are deaf and hard of hearing. The program, whose parent company is The Futuro Media Group, is carried on more than 100 public radio stations.

"Research has shown that Latino children have a higher incidence of hearing loss and deafness than other populations," according to The Futuro's Maria Hinojosa. "When the opportunity to break this sound barrier came to our attention, we were pleased to embrace this new technology developed by NPR Labs and Towson University for the thousands of Latinos with serious hearing loss." The International Center for Accessible Radio Technology (ICART), a strategic alliance between NPR and Towson University, is co-directed by Mike Starling of NPR and Ellyn Sheffield of Towson University.

"When we started out in 2007 to develop Captioned Radio technologies, we knew that many companies talk extensively about their commitments to innovation and inclusivity. This week, The Futuro Media Group and Latino USA have acted decisively to put their commitment into practice. We could not be more pleased to be working with the award winning team that will now produce the first regular Captioned Radio program. Thanks to the vision at Latino USA, our new enterprise is being launched," said the co-directors in a statement.

Listeners can tune to the new Captioned Radio broadcast on any web browser at 8 a.m. ET, on Saturday, February 23rd, coincident with the first local airing of Latino USA in local markets, and in future weeks. The URL for the captioned radio broadcast will be www.futuromediagroup.org/lusa/captions.

Latino USA brings depth of experience, on-the-ground connections and is committed to journalism that matters - balanced, truthful, revealing, according to Hinojosa. Its mission challenges the status quo by articulating and fostering diversity and innovation in public media, and nurturing the growth and development of a new generation of multicultural journalists in America. Additionally, Futuro Media Group encourages civic engagement by Latinos and all people of color.

About The Futuro Media Group: The Futuro Media Group is an independent non-profit media organization dedicated to producing multimedia journalism that explores and gives voice to the diversity of the American experience. Futuro Media works in the public interest - informing and educating the public about compelling narratives, real lives and important social and civic justice stories often overlooked by mainstream news media.

About NPR: NPR is an award-winning, multimedia news organization that reaches 26 million radio listeners each week, and nearly 20 million people monthly on digital platforms. In collaboration with more than 900 independent public radio stations nationwide, NPR strives to provide the public with a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures. To find local stations and broadcast times, visit www.npr.org/stations.

About Towson University: Founded in 1866, Towson University is recognized among the nation's best regional public universities, offering more than 100 bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in the liberal arts and sciences, and applied professional fields. With almost 22,000 students, Towson University is among the largest public universities in Maryland. The university combines research-based learning with practical application, and its many interdisciplinary partnerships with public and private organizations throughout Maryland provide opportunities for research, internships and jobs. Towson University is a founding member of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities. Visit www.towson.edu.

Contacts:
Latino USA/The Futuro Media Group: Marea Chaveco (646) 571-1220
NPR Labs: John Groundwater 202-513-2667
Towson University: Josianne Pennington, 410-704-3255