To date, 2011 has brought with it big changes in the media market producing targeted content for Latinos. In August, Huffington Post launched Latino Voices, offering “an authentic Hispanic American perspective on current events and cultural trends from the U.S., Central and South America, Europe, and around the globe. From politics,immigration and education, to culture, celebrity, and health, the site incorporates The Huffington Post’s signature mix of dynamic storytelling, must-see video, and penetrating investigative reporting.” Only today, it was announced that NBC is launching a new site claiming to “leverage NBC Universal’s resources, including those of its Spanish-language network Telemundo. It will focus on the U.S. Hispanic community.”
Are such breaking news a revelation of only what blogger Fidel Martinez of Tú Vez claims: “We know they want our money, which cumulatively adds up to a lot of feria (about $1.1 trillion or so). Because a lot of cash is up for grabs, companies are tailoring their programming and content in an attempt to convince clients—akin to rappers walking into a strip club after getting a huge advance—that they are best suited to reach Hispanics.” Martinez’s point cannot be ignored; journalism and all of the proliferating fingers of the maze-like media marketplace is a big business, afterall.
We suggest there could be another way to look at it.
Why don’t we claim these new outlets, like The Huffington Post Latino Voices, as new avenues through which to raise our voices for all to hear? IF the mediamakers at these large media conglomerates claim the advertising and media offers an “authentic Hispanic American perspective,” then let us ensure they are. Let us utilize this new attention to tell the media exactly what we want to learn about, what we care about and want to talk about. Let’s direct the re-establishment of our culture, and let’s BE the unique and new voices of these new media outlets. Through blogging, writing, film & television and social media, Latinos can BE the voices for Latinos.
As the year comes to a close, perhaps we should give thanks that Latinos have finally been identified by corporate mediamakers as overwhelmingly financially viable. Finally, Latinos, and the Latino culture, have the opportunity to reap the attention they have so long deserved. It’s not such a bad thing to be the celebrity in the room.