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Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011

'¡Adelante!' Moves Forward

Milwaukee Public Television highlights contributions of Latino community

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“When I came to the United States, I thought that this was the place in the world where journalists had the best opportunity to use the right to information—to access the freedom of information,” says Patricia Gomez, host of the Milwaukee Public Television (MPTV) current affairs program “¡Adelante!,” as she reflects upon her transition from working as a reporter and producer at a Mexican public television station for 15 years to her broadcasting career in Milwaukee.

“¡Adelante!” (which translates to “forward” in English) debuted in 1999 and is a continuation of what has been MPTV's nearly 40-year-long commitment to providing local programming for Hispanic viewers. According to Gomez, “¡Adelante!” aims to highlight the positive contributions made by Latinos in Wisconsin and is dedicated to presenting critical issues that may be underreported or ignored in other media.

“In my view, we have the opportunity to provide content that can change people's lives,” Gomez explains. “We present everything that we feel needs to be presented. Our managers have never stopped any of the stories that we have covered… We believe we are an entity that continues to support the interests of the people.”

The season premiere, scheduled to air Sept. 27 at 6:30 p.m. on MPTV 36.2 and MPTV HD 10.1, is dedicated to students. Specifically, the show centers on state budget cuts and their impact on undocumented students—including their ability to receive in-state tuition—as well as Latinos and the general community. Additionally, the episode will feature a discussion on the “Morton Memo,” the memorandum released June 17 by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton that focuses on prosecutorial discretion.

“No administration has deported more immigrants in history than the Obama administration… The (Morton Memo) is the only positive opportunity coming from the president's administration in many years for immigration-related issues, and I don't see this being (covered) much on the English commercial stations or the Spanish networks,” Gomez says, emphasizing that the mission of  “¡Adelante!” and other like-minded programs is to serve the community.

When asked of the continued push to eliminate funding for public television, Gomez nods emphatically in recognition, but says she has been inspired by the reactions of viewers and listeners, specifically with the “170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting” campaign.

“People have responded, supporting public television,” she says. “It has been incredible for me to see this journey.”

“¡Adelante!” airs Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. on MPTV 36.2 and MPTV HD 10.1, with English-language captions. Repeats air on MPTV 36.1. For more information, visit www.mptv.org.

Emily Patti writes about culture for the Shepherd Express.