WVIK Augustana Public Radio this week became the sixth radio station in Illinois to broadcast the 20-year-old program Latino USA, which airs at 7 p.m. Wednesdays.
Latino USA, a half-hour radio journal of news and culture, is the only nationally distributed English-languageradio program produced from a Latino perspective. It combines "high-quality news, cultural and public affairsjournalism with compelling sound to bring a rich understanding to a wide spectrum of listeners," according to WVIK, 90.3 FM, which is based at Augustana College, Rock Island.
"Bringing Latino USA to the Quad-Cities is one way WVIK isbecoming more involved with issues surrounding an increasing Hispanic population," Jay Pearce, WVIK general manager, said.
"We have also recently joined the Greater Quad Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce asa way of making important contacts so we can become more aware of the needs of Latinos in our community andexplore new partnerships," Mr. Pearce said, adding Latino USA is a forum for connection and reflects the experience ofa changing population from a Latino viewpoint.
The Hispanic population in Rock Island County increased by 33.8 percent in the last decade and by 32.5 percent in Illinois as a whole, according to the 2010 Census. While the Hispanic population grew 92 percent in Iowa from 2000 to 2011, there is no Iowa public radio station that airs Latino USA. Latinos represent the largest ethnic minorities for the first time in Illinois and Iowa.
Latino USA ishosted byMaria Hinojosa, senior correspondent for NOW on PBS and anchor of the Emmy Award-winning "One onOne with Maria Hinojosa" from WGBH/La Plaza. She spent eight years as an urban affairs correspondent forCNN and before that worked as a reporter for NPR News in New York.
The NPR-affiliated WVIK broadcasts across eastern Iowa and western Illinois and also airs on95.9 FM in Dubuque. For more information about Latino USA, visit futuromediagroup.org/lusa.