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For immediate release
June 25, 2003
Latino USA: Hector Montes

NPR: Laura Gross

Latino USA Celebrates Ten-Year Anniversary with Special Programming

AUSTIN, TEXAS-In May 1993, Latino USA hit the airwaves as the only national, English-language radio program produced from a Latino perspective. Maria Hinojosa, award-winning journalist, author, and CNN urban affairs correspondent has hosted the decade-long program since its inception, bringing diverse audiences multiple perspectives on issues affecting Latinos, fostering cross-cultural understanding, and illuminating the richness of Latino cultural and artistic expression. Latino USA, NPR and KUT Radio will mark the tenth anniversary of the program by offering NPR's member stations lively, informative commemorative programming.

The anniversary programming kicks off in September, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Hosted by Hinojosa, the series of 28 three-minute segments, "Latino USA's American Stories," highlight personalities, musicians, artists and leaders from the Hispanic community - tales from the US landscape told from a Hispanic perspective. Among those profiled are writer Sandra Cisneros, actor Anthony Quinn and singer Linda Ronstadt. To find a station in your city, please visit or listen online at

The anniversary celebration continues through 2004 as Latino USA produces comprehensive segments about the long-term impact of two decades of civil strife on Central America, as well as its influence on the United States. The series of in-depth features will be produced in English and Spanish and will include interviews with former Costa Rican president and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Oscar Arias and former U.S. president and peace ambassador Jimmy Carter. Segment topics will include the aftermath of the peace accords that ended civil wars in Guatemala and El Salvador, the challenge of healing the legacy of violence, issues of democratization, the changing role of women and expression in Central America, as well as economic and social realities around the proposed Central American Free Trade Agreement. These segments will be heard via NPR member stations and Radio BilingŁe's radio network beginning in January 2004.

Latino USA is heard on 139 stations in 31 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Radio BilingŁe and the Armed Forces Radio service expand the program's reach to additional listeners and worldwide audiences. Latino USA is one of 31 programs distributed by NPR, whose overall audience has grown substantially over the past five years, from 13 to 21 million listeners - a gain of 56 percent.

The tenth anniversary programming is managed by Latino USA founder and executive producer, Maria Martin, and is a collaboration of public radio's leading Hispanic broadcasters. This initiative brings together public radio's leading Latino editorial staffs from Latino USA, Radio BilingŁe, based in Fresno, Calif., and Martin's newly formed independent production company, Gracias Vida Productions, based in Austin, Texas.

"I'm very proud of the vital bridge we have established with Latino USA, from the Latino culture to the mainstream US public, where issues are not framed by differences, but by what is shared--what is common to all," Martin said. "In the face of many challenges, the future of Latino USA is committed to expanding outward, gathering stories and reaching listeners from the icy northern reaches of Alaska to the Tierra del Fuego - at the furthest reach of Argentina."

Latino USA staff will also attend the National Association of Hispanic Journalists conference on June 26-28 and the annual gathering of the National Council of La Raza, to be held in Austin in mid-July.

About Latino USA
Latino USA is a production partnership of KUT Radio and the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. The host of the program is award-winning journalist, author, and CNN Urban Affairs correspondent Maria Hinojosa.

About NPR
NPR is renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news and entertainment programming. A privately supported, non-profit, membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of nearly 21 million Americans each week via more than 730 public radio stations. International partners in cable, satellite and short-wave services make NPR programming accessible anywhere in the world. With original online content and audio streaming, offers hourly newscasts, special features and seven years of archived audio and information. NPR's several hundred awards include a 2000 National Medal of Arts.

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