Marlene Fernández

Inside Media: Hispanic Media and the 2008 Presidential Campaign

October 12, 2008

Guest: Marlene Fernández

Marlene Fernández understands the relationship between the press and politics — she has worked in both worlds. She was a political journalist, then a politician, and now a political journalist again. She currently anchors "Destination Casa Blanca 2008," a political roundtable program on HITN-TV that explores the Latino voice in the 2008 presidential race.

Having been a journalist, she was already comfortable in front of a camera when she was elected to public office in her native Bolivia.

"I think that journalism trains you for any other career you want to do in the future," she said.

Her return to journalism included an insider's eye for politics.

"This experience in government has made me a much better reporter," she said.

"Destination Casa Blanca 2008" aims to educate Hispanic viewers and teach non-Hispanic Americans about the issues that matter to the Hispanic community. Fernández observed that many Americans think that only a few issues, like immigration rights, matter to Hispanic voters. But Latin America is a diverse place, she said, with languages other than Spanish and people of many different origins.

Fernández said the Latino community will be an important player in November's election, but they lack the lobbying funds they need if they are to gain real clout.

"The tighter the election is, the more the Hispanic vote can influence [it]," Fernández said.

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