The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) has filed a petition with the FCC asking the agency to open an inquiry concerning hate speech in the media. According to the NHMC, hate speech has been pervasive in the media in recent years, and Latinos have been the primary targets of such speech. At the same time, NHMC claims, the incidence of violent crime against Latinos has risen across the country. In light of these trends, and given what they say is President Obama's pledge to end hateful rhetoric, the NHMC has asked the Commission to issue a notice of inquiry to examine the prevalence of hate speech in the media, its relationship to hate crimes, and possible methods for eliminating such speech.
The NHMC suggests that current research into hate speech should build upon a 1993 report produced by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) entitled The Role of Telecommunications in Hate Crimes. NTIA's report found only a few instances where broadcast facilities were used to spread messages of hate and bigotry, and concluded that regulatory intervention was unnecessary. While NHMC concedes that the 1993 report was comprehensive and scientific, it argues that, given the vast changes in the telecommunications and media industries in the intervening years, the report should be updated to more accurately reflect hate speech in the modern landscape.
The Commission has yet to act on the NHMC petition.