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Sounds of BelongingU.S. Spanish-language Radio and Public Advocacy$
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Dolores Ines Casillas

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814770658

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814770658.001.0001

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Desperately Seeking Dinero

Desperately Seeking Dinero

Calculating Language and Race within Radio Ratings

(p.127) 5 Desperately Seeking Dinero
Sounds of Belonging

Dolores Inés Casillas

NYU Press

This chapter critiques Arbitron's awarding of third place in the category of “listener loyalty” to Radio Nueva Vida. The radio ratings service's measurement practices were riddled with linguistic and racial oversights such as the demographic shifts in radio listeners (from white, English-language listeners to Latino, bilingual, and Spanish-dominant listeners), the growing economic clout of Spanish-language radio (from static AM to crisp FM), and the Arbitron's outdated audience measurement techniques. These conditions have forced Spanish-language radio networks to publicly call foul. Hence, the case shows that stereotyping and flawed methodology skew “objective” numbers and in doing so preserve hierarchies of race and language within political economies of radio.

Keywords:   Arbitron, measurement practices, racial oversights, Spanish-language radio, political economies, race hierarchies

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