The Futuro Media Group to Produce NPR’s Latino USA
AUSTIN, Texas and NEW YORK-March 9, 2010-Starting in April, The Futuro Media Group will begin producing NPR’s Latino USA, public radio’s award-winning weekly magazine of news and culture. Latino USA was developed at The University of Texas at Austin by the Center for Mexican American Studies in collaboration with KUT, where is has been produced since 1993.
The Futuro Media Group, headed by Latino USA host and managing editor Maria Hinojosa and Latino USA executive producer Sean Collins, is a non-profit educational corporation dedicated to community-based journalism and fostering dialogue. The new multi-platform, multimedia production house is collaborating with innovative media producers, including the BBC, StoryCorps, PBS, Long Haul Productions and Feet in Two Worlds.
“Futuro is the next step for Latino USA. Telling Latinos’ stories is crucial in the demographic reality of 21st century America,” said Hinojosa, president of The Futuro Media Group. “There’s a complex, vibrant and growing segment of the American population that understands-in their DNA-the connections between the U.S. and Latin America and, indeed, the whole world. We have been documenting the stories of Latinos-from new arrivals to those who have been here for centuries: we have been at the forefront of capturing the complexity of the community.”
“Maria is a national treasure,” says public radio innovator Dave Isay, who is a partner with The Futuro Media Group and Latino USA through the StoryCorps: Historias project. “She is an icon in the Latino community, and one of the most well-respected and important voices in the media. I am so excited to see what comes next for Latino USA as it continues to develop and grow through The Futuro Media Group. This program and the voices and stories it brings to the nation are critical to the future of public radio.”
The Futuro Media Group’s focus is on new models of public journalism and civic engagement: from encouraging people to tell the stories of their own communities, to helping to foster meaningful dialogue. The company is dedicated to people producing media that builds bridges.
“Maria is one of the most talented journalists I’ve ever worked with. She has an ability to sit down with people of widely-disparate world views and engage them in conversation,” said Collins, chief creative officer of The Futuro Media Group. “Each time she does that, the audience benefits. Listeners benefit by being shown that such conversations are not only possible, but fruitful.”
“We are committed to assisting public radio stations connect in deeper and more meaningful ways with the diverse communities they serve,” continued Collins. “It’s an exciting challenge that faces all journalists, but especially those of us who are dedicated to public service. Latino USA has been laying solid groundwork for this from the beginning.”
“KUT has been our home from day one,” says Hinojosa. “And they’ve gotten us on our feet and into the homes of millions of listeners over the years. And we are deeply grateful for that. Now it’s time to take Latino USA to the next level with The Futuro Media Group.”
“Maria and her team of Latino USA producers have been documenting influence of Latinos in America and the subsequent transformation of American life for nearly 20 years,” said Stewart Vanderwilt, director and general manager of KUT Radio. “We look forward to watching Latino USA spread its wings and strengthen its presence in listeners’ daily lives through compelling stories told through multiple channels.”
The Futuro Media Group’s work will be appearing on the radio, on television, on the Web and on mobile devices.
“Maria and Sean are an extraordinarily talented pair, doing really interesting work,” said Margaret Low Smith, vice president for programming at NPR. “We’re thrilled to continue our longstanding relationship with Latino USA and to be working with The Futuro Media Group.”
Maria Hinojosa, president of The Futuro Media Group, has been the host of NPR’s Latino USA since its inception. She has been the senior correspondent for the acclaimed NOW on PBS and anchors the Emmy Award-winning One on One with Maria Hinojosa from WGBH/La Plaza. She spent eight years as the Urban Affairs Correspondent for CNN, and before that worked as a reporter for NPR News in New York. She is the recipient of the Ruben Salazar Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Council of La Raza, a Robert F Kennedy Award, the Edward R Murrow Award, the Overseas Press Club and the Cronkite Award. She is the author of two books and has been inducted into the “She Made It” Hall of Fame at the Paley Center/Museum of Television and Radio.
Sean Collins, chief creative officer of The Futuro Media Group, is a 17-year veteran of NPR News, having served longest as the senior producer of the network’s flagship newsmagazine All Things Considered. His work helped earn NPR News several of broadcasting’s highest honors, including gold and silver batons in the duPont-Columbia Awards and a Peabody Award. Collins was an early proponent of Web-based programming to augment the work of public radio journalists, spearheading NPR’s year-long series of reports on The End of Life.
Latino USA is a half-hour weekly English language radio and Web magazine produced from a Latino perspective. It is distributed to public radio stations by NPR. It is supported by grants from foundations, corporations, and individuals, and by public radio stations across the country.
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