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Reaching Latinos: Media vie for winning formula

Reaching Latinos: Media vie for winning formula
April 04
05:33 2014
In this Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 file photo, workers are shown in the Fusion network's warehouse-turned-news hub known as Newsport, in Doral, Fla. Hispanic content became the buzzword for media companies in 2010, when the U.S. Census confirmed Latinos make up 17 percent of the U.S. population and would likely remain the fastest growing demographic for years to come. Since then, more than half a dozen news websites and networks have sprouted up targeting the nation’s 55 million Latinos. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

In this Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 file photo, workers are shown in the Fusion network’s warehouse-turned-news hub known as Newsport, in Doral, Fla. Hispanic content became the buzzword for media companies in 2010, when the U.S. Census confirmed Latinos make up 17 percent of the U.S. population and would likely remain the fastest growing demographic for years to come. Since then, more than half a dozen news websites and networks have sprouted up targeting the nation’s 55 million Latinos. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

By Laura Wides-Munoz
Associated Press

MIAMI — Reaching the nation’s 55 million Latinos has become gospel for mainstream media giants, but capturing this fast-growing, mostly U.S.-born audience is proving tricky to networks and websites. For every success story there is a flop.

Take CNN’s latest attempt at a Spanish-language broadcast targeting U.S Latinos. The broadcaster is no newcomer to the Spanish-speaking world, for decades reaching Latin America with CNN en Espanol. But the company said it axed its CNN Latino domestic Spanish-language service after one year because it failed “to fulfill our business expectations.”

NBC’s attempt at a website called NBC Latino folded in January after 16 months, despite producing thousands of original stories. Even the much-heralded Fusion — a joint venture of Univision and ABC — is still experiencing growing pains, shedding several programs in its first year and restructuring its nightly news show from five days a week to one.

One challenge: Many in the audience today are second- and third-generation Latinos, and often they eschew a Latino-only box, even as they crave more stories that include them.

“I don’t want to be force-fed all this Latin stuff,” explained 36-year-old Alain Amejeira, an air conditioning technician in South Florida whose parents came from Cuba. “I’m Alain. I’m not Alain the Cuban guy who needs only Cuban news.”

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