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Radio Bilingüe gives Latinos a voice

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Phones at the radio studios on the outskirts of town kept ringing.

Saul from Visalia lamented cuts to public education, calling in on a December afternoon to Linea Abierta, the first nationwide Spanish-language public affairs show. Miguel from Madera asked how county taxes are distributed and Manuel from Calexico wanted to know whether schools still receive lottery funds.

The public affairs show is produced daily by Radio Bilingue, the nation’s only public, non-commercial Spanish-language radio network. With seven FM stations in California and more than 100 affiliates nationwide airing its programs, the Fresno-based network reaches an estimated 500,000 Latino listeners per week.

Controlled by Latinos and run by a Harvard-educated former farmworker, the network fills a crucial gap in public broadcasting, which attracts overwhelmingly white, middle- or upper-class, English speaking audiences. The industry has been struggling to capture Latino listeners.

“We want to offer news and information that’s relevant to the lives of our listeners,” said Linea Abierta’s executive producer Samuel Orozco, “so that they can use it as citizens, to be able to participate in the decision making process and be active members of society.”


About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.


  1. […] Radio Bilingue, the nation’s only public, non-commercial Spanish-language radio network, reaches about 500,000 Latinos per week. […]

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