As a country famous for its diversity, the United States certainly has no shortage of jobs in television and radio for people who speak languages other than English. The Portuguese or Portuguese-speaking community, whose members in the US are referred to as “Luso-Americans,” is a small but expanding American demographic and is a growing source of jobs for those students looking to work in broadcasting in Portuguese in the US. Let’s take a look at where geographically America’s Portuguese-speaking communities are strongest and what the various Portuguese-language broadcasts are.
The two most dominant Portuguese-speaking cultures in the United States are Brazilian Americans (375,000) and Portuguese Americans (1.5 million). Both of these demographics are concentrated most heavily in the Northeast US (where 47% of Portuguese Americans and 44% of Brazilian Americans reside) while Portuguese Americans are also prevalent in the West (37% of Portuguese Americans) and Brazilian Americans are strong in the South (39% of Brazilian Americans), according to the US Census Bureau.
For international students ready to work within broadcasting in Portuguese, the Northeast is overwhelmingly the best place to start the career search. Massachusetts is a particularly welcoming state for Portuguese speakers; a long history of Portuguese emigration to Massachusetts set the stage for Brazilians to do the same in the late 1900s, resulting in a current-day Massachusetts in which Portuguese is the second-most-spoken language after English. Nearby Portuguese-heavy states include Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York.
Massachusetts is home to one of the only Portuguese-language television stations in America, aptly named The Portuguese Channel. There is much more work in broadcasting in Portuguese within radio around the Northeast: Massachusetts’s WSRO, WHTB, and WJDA; Connecticut’s WFAR.
With a strong foundation of native and/or fluent Portuguese speakers, especially in the Northeast, the United States offers good prospects for anyone wanting to tackle broadcasting in Portuguese. America’s Portuguese-speaking community is rapidly growing, so even more broadcasting in Portuguese jobs are likely to be generated in the future.