Monday, March 30, 2009

The Power of Spanish-Language News

Clients often tell me that they adequately reach "acculturated" Hispanics via their general market media plans. They also believe that English Dominant Hispanics simply do not watch or read Spanish-language media, despite data that shows a portion of them do. Why would they consume Hispanic targeted media if they speak English? Well, options for one. But really, it boils down to two words: News and Sports.

Today, let's tackle news. Hispanic focused news organizations cover topics that general market news bureaus just don't touch: immigration, inner city education, workplace injustice and information on legal and government processes.

But more importantly, the lens that Spanish-language news organizations use to filter information is far different. Don't believe me? Let's look at an example.

A lot of digital "ink" has been used to cover Mexico's violent war against the drug cartels which have left over 8,000 dead. Today, featured a piece on the escalating violence and spoke about the corruption of police forces, the flow of money and weapons from the U.S. into Mexico and the aid that Mexico will receive from the U.S.

Now, look at a piece on that highlights the dead, particularly the "good" authorities that have been murdered by the drug cartels for refusing bribes.

No doubt, American media has a very particular point-of-view on Mexico, Mexico's systems and certainly, it's "third world" or "developing" status. Yet we Hispanic-Americans have a more nuanced and arguably, accurate perspective on our countries of origin. Spanish-language news organizations give us a better picture on what is occuring there and discuss topics like the human toll of this war, something that U.S. based media simply glazes over. Apparently, dead Mexicans aren't that interesting.

Until American media broadens its approach to the coverage (or lack there of) that it provides for relevant Hispanic issues, Latinos - acculturated or not, will always turn to Spanish-language news as an alternative.

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