In just a couple of weeks the US Census 2010 will roll out its advertising campaign, and most of the advertising and marketing dollars have already been awarded to mainstream media. Caribbean media and marketing agencies that have met the deadlines and filed all the necessary documents are still not on the radar.
What this means is the Caribbean community will not be properly counted, resulting in yet another gross under-count for this year’s census. A tough lesson was learned from the 2000 Census that severely miscounted the Caribbean population in the United States. These statistics are crucial for state and community funding.
The Caribbean American media are hopping mad! Once again media houses, marketing and public relations agencies with a Caribbean focus are being sidelined by government bodies. But this time, an active voice in the media community, the Caribbean American Journalists and Media Association (CAJMA) is fighting to make their voices heard.
The recently formed non-profit national association, with a growing list of active members from radio, television, and print media, marketing and public relations agencies, is taking a stand. With a united voice they are taking their concerns to elected officials and high-level Census administrators.
“The undercount of the last census and the subsequent demographic shifts make the accuracy of this census even more paramount”, says Maxine J. Tulloch, CAJMA President.
In fact, US census statistics show that the Caribbean population in the United States has grown to 1.7 million in the 20 years between 1980 and 2000, a significant number, especially for politicians seeking votes. Additionally, the numbers in Florida are decisive for elected officials.
To effectively reach the Caribbean community means speaking their language, knowing the cultural nuances, living the Caribbean experience. The Caribbean media is part of this community and can influence the “tough-to-reach” if given the resources to do so.
We cannot afford another disastrous misrepresentation of the Caribbean population in the United States. We the Caribbean media are relevant, professional, and ready to galvanize our people. We must be counted!