A Texas Tech project to combat misinformation in Hispanic communities

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) – Three Texas Tech faculty members are trying to combat misinformation and misinformation among the Hispanic population. They are trying to understand why the Hispanic community does not have as many sources of information as other communities.

Lucinda Holt is an assistant professor in the College of Media and Communication at Texas Tech. She said this project is important because of the growth of the Latino population.

“And there’s not a lot of Spanish-language information out there,” Holt said.

The lack of Spanish resources plays an important role in the health perception of communities.

“We’ve heard from people that, you know, they get most of their information from social media, especially Facebook,” Holt said. “Most do not have access to local news at home, or they only listen to what their family members tell them.”

Misinformation and misinformation have had fatal consequences. During their research, they spoke with a Plainview man who was hospitalized with Covid-19.

“He knew a 23-year-old boy who died because he believed the COVID-19 vaccine was bad for him. And he chose not to vaccinate.” Holt said.

Holt says the first step in combating misinformation is increasing representation.

“So we should have more Latinos, more Hispanics. It still goes beyond language. We should have more Hispanics and Latinos,” Holt said. “You know, get in front of the camera. Don’t be afraid and share that message.”

Along with Holt, College of Media and Communication Professor Kent Wilkinson and Assistant Dean for User-Centered Services for Texas Tech University Libraries Ryan Leaty are all taking it upon themselves to solve this problem.

“We’re going to take the data and turn it into production. So that’s print distribution, so you know, we’re looking at television, radio, social media, and we’re going to produce Spanish-language content with English reinforcements.

This representation is also important in crisis communication. She gave an example using the recent Uvalde shooting.

“The information is confusing, it’s coming out in English, but imagine your child is in that building and they don’t speak English and they don’t know any Spanish and you don’t know where to go, where to report, what’s happening to your child, or where to find resources,” Holt said. He said. “So crisis communication, proper communication is critical to this project.”

For more details about the project, visit the website here.

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