marks 1st anniversary
The Arizona Republic
Oct. 8, 2004
It's only a half-hour. But for many, it represents a lifetime of recognition.
Prime time. Public station. Equal time.
Horizonte, the Hispanic-themed public-affairs show, rang in its first year on
Channel 8 (KAET), averaging 25,000 viewers a show with its local and national
coverage of social and political issues.
"It is helping us shape our conversations," said Bettina Nava, Sen. John
McCain's state campaign manager. "Its (success) is an indicator of how things
are changing, that there seems to be a desire for this kind of programming. It
shows that the political landscape's changing. I'm hoping that will bleed more
into the mainstream."
The English-language program airs at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays. It was spun off of the
public-affairs show Horizon, which draws about 30,000 viewers each show,
according to station officials.
The half-hour program explores issues facing the Hispanic community, from
immigration to bilingual education, day laborers to the Latino vote. In showing
fresh faces and diverse, articulate Hispanic professionals, the program is
breaking stereotypes, says host José Cárdenas, attorney and chairman of Lewis &
"Hispanics only make the 10 o'clock news when it's something bad," said
Cárdenas, of Chandler.
Horizonte viewers "see someone who's very successful, insightful . . . I think
we're having an impact there" on public perception, he said, "because it (Horizonte)
showcases a lot of people, both people who have always been pillars of the
community and those who haven't been recognized."
The guest lineups include national and local Latino leaders: former Housing and
Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros; author and Univision anchorman Jorge
Ramos; former state Sen. Alfredo Gutierrez; and David Garcia, a senior research
analyst with Think AZ.
"A tool like Horizonte is so important," said longtime journalist Anita Luera,
now with the Hispanic-based non-profit Valle del Sol. "It's a forum giving voice
to Latinos who have an opinion. That is crucial because that voice isn't always
heard across the board."
Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon credits Horizonte for highlighting the Latino
"It's brought up more details and thoughts and viewpoints," said Gordon, an
occasional viewer. "It's necessary and . . . informative."
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