'Enfoque Nacional': An Introduction
Enfoque Nacional was NPR's first Spanish-language newsmagazine, broadcast weekly from 1979-1988. The sounds and stories in this program bring to life the movements and ideologies that influenced and shaped the emerging Latinx identity — from immigration, labor issues and civil wars to education, empowerment of women and the preservation of language. These stories are not only important to Latinx history — they are vital to the understanding of U.S. history and media history.
Created by host Hector Molina and executive producer Jose Mireles, Enfoque was co-produced with KPBS in San Diego, Calif. Leveraging a network of over 80 Latinx journalists, the program covered local and international events and news from across the United States and Latin America, including Mexico, El Salvador, Cuba, Nicaragua, Argentina and Chile.
The thousands of stories produced during the program's nearly decade-long run provide a wealth of primary source material and access to the unique voices of Latinx newsmakers and the communities that they served.
Beyond coverage of more hard-hitting stories, Enfoque Nacional featured pieces about Latinx artists, musicians and culturally significant figures.
Enfoque also reported on micro-identities within the Latinx community — including stories about women, LGBTQ+ figures, Afro-Latinos and Indigenous communities — at a time when such stories were difficult to find.
NPR's original mission statement included a goal to "speak with many voices and many dialects." More recently, NPR has pledged to "look and sound like America." Although Enfoque Nacional is only a small part of the entire picture of Spanish-language radio broadcasting history in the U.S., its legacy should be highlighted in the context of NPR's mission of inclusion.
The digital preservation of this audio is stewarded by NPR's Research, Archives & Data Strategy team and was supported by a Recordings at Risk grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The grant program is made possible by funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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