Thursday, October 15, 2009

Chicago, IL ---Eszter Hargittai of Northwestern University in Chicago researched the transfer of real-world divisions to Facebook and MySpace.
``Existing social divisions translate online,'' said the associate professor in the Communications Studies Department. ``These sites are mainly used for hanging out with people you already know.''

Hargittai's research found there a difference by race, ethnicity and parental education in the United States as to who uses Facebook versus MySpace.

Hispanic students, for example, are more likely to use MySpace because that's where ``their friends hang out.''
Facebook, it seems, is for the more upwardly mobile. ``It's about who you know, what you're doing, where do you go, where were you on your holiday,'' said Shirley Steinberg, an expert in media literacy and popular culture at McGill University.

``Just the use of the words 'status update' has a middle-class implication.'' MySpace doesn't do any of that, said Steinberg, associate professor at McGill's Department of Integrated Studies in Education. ``Just the title, `MySpace,' itself implies that it's personal.''

She says MySpace users generally tend to be in their early teens up to the age of about 22, and the site is known for attracting musicians and artists and for letting its users be creative.

The same divisions don't exist in Canada, but that's more because MySpace has such a low profile north of the border.

``We are a Facebook country,'' said Rhonda McEwen, who teaches in the Faculty of Information Studies at the University of Toronto and specializes in new media and the information practices of young people.

It may be because Canadian academics who travelled to the United States started using Facebook and immigrants who came to large Canadian cities also were Facebook users, McEwen suggests. But by the time Canada caught on to social networking, MySpace was more for teenagers and not seen as serious.

Everyone from teens to grandparents in Canada uses Facebook, she says.
``The younger teens here don't know MySpace. They don't even recognize the term, which is really surprising to me, given how big it is in the United States.''

But for Americans, the lines are drawn and technology analyst Carmi Levy suggests no one should be surprised class division continues on the Internet because it's a mirror of society.

``The Internet is not nirvana,'' said Levy, senior vice-president of strategic consulting at Toronto's AR Communications Inc.

MySpace was started by a group of employees at an Internet marketing company called eUniverse in California in 2003, who were following the social networking group Friendster, which also featured indie music.

Facebook was started at Harvard University a year later. Initially it spread through other universities before going global and its users are generally older. The site is now more popular worldwide than MySpace.

Canadians may not have noticed, but MySpace remains less buttoned-down than Facebook, even though it's now owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which paid its founders US$580 million in 2005. Facebook has had many investors, but its CEO remains one of its founders, former Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg.

``In many cases, MySpace pages are absolutely unreadable riots of colour and font and form,'' said Levy.

``The artistic community, especially musicians, have really hung on to that and as a result have adopted MySpace as their prime platform and not Facebook.''

AP all the way

Arkansas has one of the nation's fastest growing Hispanic populations

Little Rock,AK ---Arkansas has one of the nation's fastest growing Hispanic populations and is home to an estimated 160,000 Hispanic people. Studies by the Pew Hispanic Center in 2007 concluded that about half of the state's immigrant population are living illegally in the U.S.
Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, had opposed the proposal last year because he said it would duplicate laws that are already on the books. Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample said the governor was likely to again oppose the measure if it was similar to last year's proposal.
``The governor's concern then was this would create bigger government and cost Arkansas taxpayers more money, which is two things we don't want to do,'' DeCample said.
Secure Arkansas earlier this year had opposed a measure in the Legislature that would have granted the children of illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates at Arkansas colleges and universities. The state Senate ultimately rejected the proposal, which had also faced opposition from Beebe and the state's higher education director.


National Latino AIDS Awareness Day 2009

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will present a proclamation to The Bronx HIV CARE Network/Montefiore Medical Center as part of the commemoration of the National Latino AIDS Awareness Day 2009

NILP--- Have you been following this?

CNN, You Can't Have It Both Ways:
It's Either Dobbs or Your Latino Future
By Roberto Lovato
Huffington Post (October 13, 2009)

On the eve of CNN's Latino in America series (LIA) -- its most important and expensive attempt to capture Latino audiences -- Latinos are of one mind about the two faces of CNN. I know this because I just spent the last two weeks traveling the country talking to Latino communities about Lou Dobbs and CNN. I got to meet some of the more than 50,000 people who, in just the last four weeks, have signed our petition at

To see this vido, click here or on the image above

What I heard among the many voices that make up the Latino United States -- Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in New York, Cubans in Miami, Mexicans and Salvadorans and many others in the Southwest -- was an unexpected unity and an intense concern about CNN's Latino hypocrisy: thinking that a few hours of serious reporting on Latinos by sunny Soledad O'Brien can make up for thousands of hours of anti-Latino extremism from the dark Lou Dobbs. This paradox has Latinos everywhere asking questions about CNN -- and so far we haven't gotten much in the way of answers.

One questioner was Latino media executive Jeff Valdez, who, during the Los Angeles LIA screening, pointedly asked Soledad O'Brien, "Will Latino in America include Lou Dobbs?" The answer: no. That's right, four hours about the Latino experience in the U.S., and not a word on the country's most notorious anti-immigrant, anti-Latino "news" anchor.

"What do you think Latinos should do about Lou Dobbs?" asked another member of the audience. Obrien's response -- that we should watch and support positive depictions of Latinos like those of LIA -- satisfied no one; neither do the rumors that Dobbs has started talking to Fox News about leaving CNN.

At the New York screening of LIA, an audience member asked about how CNN squares Latino in America with the hatred that shows up on Lou Dobbs show every night. Visibly irritated by having to defend CNN over Dobbs, a CNN executive answered, "I have nothing to do with Lou Dobbs. I don't confer with Lou Dobbs. He has not seen this program. My unit has no contact at all. So I don't answer that. I don't have an answer for it." This, in a nutshell, is the CNN position: when the question is about Lou Dobbs, they have no answer.

Such questions by and about Latinos form part of a larger dialogue that will be at the center of this week's immigration reform mobilizations as well as in CNN's LIA premiere next week. At a time when polls indicate Latinos experiencing increased levels of discrimination -- a time when hate crimes against Latinos are on the rise -- Lou Dobbs' war on immigrants and Latinos occupies a central place in the hearts and questions of Latinos. People are noticing CNN's attempt to have its Lou Dobbs cake and have Latinos eat it too.

Among the most creative and committed to bringing CNN's hypocrisy into the national dialogue about Latinos is 26-year-old Mexican immigrant Arturo Perez, an award-winning filmmaker, who just produced an inspired and inspiring video about CNN's Dobbs problem. The fantastic film was born during dinner table dialogues about Dobbs that then teenager Perez and his mother held over the course of many years. These dialogues are now taking place in thousands of bilingual households throughout the country.

"We would listen to Lou Dobbs and my mom and I would get very upset," Perez told me. "Ever since I was a teenager, I got so angry that I sent Dobbs and CNN many emails correcting his "facts" and warning them about the dangers of the kind of lies and hate he spread about Latinos. He never wrote me back. So, now I get to talk to him through my video." Latinos, it seems, are clearer than ever that, thanks to Lou Dobbs, watching CNN has become an exercise in disrespecting ourselves and denying our dignity.

Of all the questions I heard in my travels, one of them sums up the issue better than all the rest. "Does CNN really believe that they can have it both ways?" asked Guadalupe Vazquez, a Mexican immigrant living not far from CNN's headquarters in Atlanta. "They're trying to make money by reporting on us (Latinos) with this (Latino in America) show and with CNN en Espanol at the same time as they're making money off of hating us with Lou Dobbs!" exclaimed Vazquez, who I met through a community leader in Atlanta. As if speaking for the mass movement calling out Dobbs and CNN, Vazquez added, "I'll be damned if I allow them to get away with it."

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