Mariana Florez, who lives in Pearl with her husband and their 9- and 3-year-old children, thinks that the information media transmit about the 2020 presidential elections focuses on the candidates saying the wrong thing about the other, true or not, and not presenting enough about the candidates’ substantive ideas.
“Media is a battlefield but not a place where politicians debate,” says Florez, 39, who came to the U.S. in 2009 and became a citizen a couple of years ago after marrying an American. ˜The media needs to investigate more about the candidates’ issues, present their campaign ideas, not favor their candidates, and not publish fake news.”
The Pew Research Center reports that in 2020 the Latino electorate became the largest minority in the U.S. after surpassing the African American community who maintained their proportion of 12.5% while Hispanics reached 13.3%. The Mississippi Free Press spoke to a group of Latinos living in the Jackson area about the way journalism outlets are handling information in the 2020 elections in the U.S.
Investigate Deeper and Reveal More About Issues
Pedro Bravo, manager of the El Potrillo restaurant in Flowood, says most media do not present the news in the right way. Journalists need to investigate deeper and reveal more about issues the candidates embrace, he says.
“They need to ask politicians more questions because it is not enough to hear what they want to say, ˜ Bravo said. He arrived 30 years ago in this country from Mexico and hopes to get his citizenship soon to be able to vote.
Bravo gives the example of President Donald Trump’s taxes—he paid $750 in 2017, The New York Times reported—and says the media in general did too little to investigate and get the information out in a timely manner. ˜President Trump is the public image and example of the nation,” he said. “The small amount of money that he paid in taxes is an insult to citizens and that should be addressed more in news outlets.”
In contrast, Stephanie Bruce, 40, owner of an insurance agency with locations in Ridgeland, Pearl and Vicksburg finds the media unfair to Trump.
“There is a lot of unsupported criticism in the media against this president,” she told the Mississippi Free Press. “They said that immigrant businesses were going to do badly during the Trump administration, and it was not like that. It has been going very well for me.”
In Bruce’s opinion, media need to show Latino voters, for example, how Trump or Democratic challenger Joe Biden would interact with dictatorships such as Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
“The president should be someone with courage to face these dictatorships, and media need to say who would be that candidate,” says Bruce, who was born in Puerto Rico and married a Cuban man.
People Are Not Ready for the Facts
Elly Cardoso, 38, was 6 years old when she came to the U.S. She was born in Mexico City and now runs a clothing business in Brandon. She finds that news outlets in the South show a lot of favoritism. “The media should give the facts and not manipulate. Here in the Deep South,” she said, “people are not ready for that. The more closed and conservative, the better,” she added.
Cardoso says the media are making more noise about accusations against Biden because the problems of Trump were already known. “The two candidates have things to hide but since this is Biden’s first attempt at the presidency, they are finding more problems. What media says about Trump seems (to be) what was already known, what he did in the past,” she said.
Esteban Ceseña, 17, is a senior at Ridgeland High School. He was born in Escondido, Calif., and moved a few years ago to the Jackson area. Sometimes he works with his father in a car-repair shop in Canton.
Although Ceseña knows very well who he wants to vote for, he must turn 18 to go to the polls. He is quite disappointed because if the elections had been two months later, he could vote.
He thinks the press needs to be objective and say the bad things that both candidates have done without partisanship. He sees bias in media and social media. “I did not think it was good that Twitter and Facebook did not allow the publication of the affairs of Biden’s son when he was vice president,” Ceseña said. “They are favoring Biden.”