The Influence of Spanish-Language Media on Latino Public Opinion and Group Consciousness


  • *Direct correspondence to Yann P. Kerevel, University of New Mexico, MSC05 3070, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131 〈〉. The author will share all data and coding for replication purposes. The author thanks Gabriel R. Sanchez, Michael S. Rocca, and Lonna R. Atkeson for comments on previous drafts. Any remaining errors are the author's own.


Objective. This article determines if the use of Spanish-language media among Latinos influences public opinion on various policy issues and group consciousness.

Methods. Using a 2004 national public opinion survey of U.S. Latinos, a multivariate analysis is run to determine the effect of language media preference on immigration policy, abortion, same-sex marriage, and three measures of group consciousness.

Results. I find more frequent use of Spanish-language media leads to more liberal attitudes toward immigration, but has no effect on opinions toward abortion and same-sex marriage. I also find increased use of Spanish-language media leads to increased levels of group consciousness.

Conclusions. The differences in attitudes are due to the diverging goals of Spanish-language and English-language media. The effect of using Spanish-language media serves to promote a sense of group consciousness among Latinos by reinforcing roots in Latin America and the commonalities among Latinos of varying national origin.