Volume 8 | 2015
This eighth volume of the International Journal of Hispanic Media includes engaging articles on several timely topics. Two of the articles, by Albarran and Moellinger, and Martínez-Costa and Müeller, were top papers delivered at the 2015 International Conference on Hispanic/Latino Media & Marketing hosted by the Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication in the College of Communication and Information at Florida State University. The following is a note from the conference chair, Dr. Sindy Chapa, who is also director of the Center.
Multicultural markets emerge with the proliferation of new media, which facilitates cultural transfer. As the global Hispanic population continues to grow, and as technology changes how people communicate, there is a need to study new opportunities and challenges associated with the ways that information is presented and used to connect with Latino audiences. There is also a need to educate students and professionals alike, to empower them and leverage growing interest and opportunities in the Hispanic sector.
In February 2015, the Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication at Florida State University hosted the Fifth International Conference on Hispanic/Latino Media and Marketing. The event served as a forum for scholars, graduate students, media analysts, and marketing professionals to present their research and offer assessments of current issues surrounding Spanish-language media, Latino audiences, and Hispanic consumers in the United States and around the world.
Without a doubt, the digital world, and the new media practices resulting from technological changes, are playing key roles in how marketers communicate and sell today. This requires a better understanding of how Hispanics—who are diverse in terms of acculturation, country of origin, education level and generational status—use new technologies to communicate.
Today’s media consumption is closely related to consumers’ cultural intelligence, and cultural sensitivity in the media gains importance as more highly-educated, diverse and cosmopolitan consumers come of age using a variety of new technologies. Ready access to new media allows audiences to connect more closely with their own culture as well as other societies around the world, opening new opportunities for academicians to investigate how consumers’ ethnic identity, diversity, and values relate to media consumption. The papers presented at the conference and included in this journal serve as an example of the current state of Hispanic media consumption in the United States, Latin America and Spain.
In their assessment of who owns U.S. Spanish-language media, Albarran and Moellinger address a longstanding concern regarding ethnic-oriented media. Ownership and control issues have become particularly thorny in a period of growing buying power among Hispanic consumers and, consequently, rising values of media outlets that reach them. The authors show that a substantial majority of such outlets are owned and controlled by large, general market media corporations, not Hispanics/Latinos.
Martínez-Costa and Müeller compare radio magazine programs in two important Spanish-speaking national markets, Argentina and Spain. They find similarities in genre content as well as audience across the two countries, where younger audiences eschew the programs that their parents and grandparents tune in regularly. As in other regions, and languages, radio host personalities, infotainment content and listener call-ins are common characteristics of the radio magazine genre.
The other two articles comprising this volume address sensitive contemporary issues.
Takahashi, Pinto, Vigón, and Chavez examine how Spanish-language newsrooms manage reporting on environmental affairs. They employ content analysis of reports about the environment as well as interviews with newsroom staff and reporters working in Spanish-language television to reveal the principal factors impacting coverage. Profit motives and ambiguity regarding the salience and urgency of environmental issues have lead to scant reporting on the topic, the authors conclude.
Last and by no means least, Ronald Bishop applies narrative analysis to a widely-reported event that occurred early in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign: a dramatic, televised clash between Republican candidate Donald Trump and Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos. The confrontation at a press conference took place two months after Trump made disparaging remarks about Mexican immigrants to the U.S. during the speech announcing his candidacy for president. Bishop explores the shifting roles and objectives of journalists in recent decades before going on to identify and discuss six narrative themes in news reporting regarding Ramos’ role in the conflict.