LatinaLista: Spanish Isn’t the Only Language to Reach Latinos

pew hispanic

When asked by Pew Hispanic researchers what language they think in, only first-generation Latinos responded in the majority to Spanish.

This article was written by Marisa Treviño and originally published on LatinaLista.

LatinaLista — Long before I read today’s Nielsen report that outlined, among other things, that the language to reach the Latino market was Spanish, I knew that Nielsen wasn’t alone in their “assumption.”

The White House seems to think that the wayto reach Latino voters is also through Spanish.

Consider this stat: when Enrique Acevedo interviewed President Obama for the “Al Punto” program that ran Sunday, it marked the 15th time the president had been interviewed by Univision… That’s far more interviews than the cable news networks have grabbed, and not that far off from the number of interviews with ABC (24), CBS (23, including David Letterman) and NBC (21, including Jay Leno)…

In fact, when the general media/public thinks about the U.S. Latino market, they automatically assume Spanish is the language ALL Latinos speak, understand and prefer, thanks to reports like Nielsen and Univision’s claim that they reach “97% of U.S. Hispanic households.”

Take for instance the series of news articles published this week about director Robert Rodriguez’s (Spy Kids, El Mariachi) new cable television network El Rey.

Grant it, Robert Rodriguez is Latino and the name of his new cable network is Spanish for “The King” but in interview after interview, it was made clear that this network will have English programming.

The El Rey network will offer “an action-packed, general entertainment network in English for Latino and general audiences that includes a mix of reality, scripted and animated series, movies, documentaries, news, music, comedy, and sports programming,” Comcast, which will carry the network, said.

However, one news outlet skipped that part. Though the body of the article had the same quote as above, the headline writer at the news site must have focused only on this paragraph in the originalCNN story that was republished on the Washington-state based KXLY.com site.

Rodriguez is Mexican-American with deep roots in Texas, where his family can trace its history to a land grant in 1760, he said. He grew up making movies in his backyard with a home video camera and proved to the world that a film can be made “with very little money and no film crew” when he enjoyed widespread success with “El Mariachi” in the early 1990s.

The CNN story’s headline read: “New network to reflect, shape identity of Latino culture, owner says” But the KXLY headline — of the exact same article — read: “New Spanish-language network coming in 2013.”

Nowhere in the story did it identify El Rey network as being “Spanish-language.” In fact, it was quite clear in identifying it as in English.

So where did this assumption arise that if the creator is Latino and the name of the network is in Spanish, it must have Spanish-language programming?

Read the rest of the article on LatinaLista.

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