When this blog reported yesterday about the very unique and innovative content-sharing partnership between Fox News Latino and Being Latino, we applauded it as a true recognition of the power of online Latinos. For FNL, the benefit is clear: their news and posts could be shared with a very tight network of 50K+ strong on a weekly basis, while for Being Latino, it would have the chance to post its content one of the top 500 websites in the world. (Stop a minute and absorb that. We’re talking millions of views a day.)
For some (like this blog), the partnership was a no-brainer. In the age of social media, it is all about sharing, cross-linking, and broadcasting to a bigger audience. For others, there was skepticism, give that mainstream FOX NEWS has never really been a supporter of Latino issues, but these people (and this is a MAJOR point), once they actually saw the comprehensive content on FNL and how much it covered issues and news that are relevant and topical to US Latinos, were open to start following the FNL stream. Others, however, were quick to condemn the partnership, and although we understand why (believe me, FOX NEWS’ coverage of Latino issues has bordered on racist to us sometimes), we say this: Just see the webpage and decide for yourself. At least acknowledge that the social media group of FNL understands that in order to change perception, you HAVE to be engaging your customers and demographic. They are doing that on social media, and for that, we are following them and reading their content.
…many of my friends from the east coast and a few other cities between NYC and LA asked me if I was crazy. “How could you do that to our people? I thought you were one of us.” I am confident to say that the majority of these people who so impulsively congratulated me or criticized me did not take the time to look at Fox News Latino’s website. From seeing the type of content on FNL, I think it’s safe to say that if they were skewing one way more than the other, it would be to the LEFT.
It is good news. Why? Because for the first time, a major news entity is recognizing the POWER of English-speaking and/or bilingual Latinos in Social Media. But Fox News is so… anti-Latino, why them? Hmm, have you seen any other major news entities taking a stab at reaching this fast-growing, engaged, ACTIVE Latino audience? I have not. Because of this, I do believe that Fox News Latino should be given credit for taking the initiative to reach this community.
He adds this later in the post:
Latinos have a tendency to be passionate, ESPECIALLY when it comes to politics, which I think is great. My only tiff is when people become blinded from great opportunities because their prejudice automatically makes up their mind for them, rather than rationally analyzing the situation before criticizing it. And of course, the conspiracy theorists that will claim that this once a week content sharing partnership is a Republican ploy to brainwash the Latino community, I once again invite you to see the first submission that FNL has sent to us. From whales in the Dominican Republic, to a one-on-one interview with the intern who save Rep. Giffords life, this seems to be pretty balanced with an agenda to simply inform our community rather than an attempt to over-take the Latino population in the US.
As a fellow Latino blogger who has had the pleasure of meeting Lance in person more than once, sharing our visions of empowering Latinos online, and admiring what he has done (yes, Lance Ríos is an online visionary who saw a hole and fixed it quickly), we offer this challenge to you: If you are truly sincere about making change happen and educating the mainstream media through social media, then this IS YOUR CHANCE.
This is your chance to act.
This is your chance to comment and post and share your opinions.
This is your chance to prove that the US Latino online community is a force and if we have issues with media coverage, we will speak out and influence others.
The time to criticize is over. Act, mi gente. Debate and engage. The time is now to make online history. You can impact actual change and prove to the world that Latinos are very influential online. To just gloss this over is a wasted opportunity and just confirms what has been said about the US Latino population so long: they are passionate and opinionated, but when it has come to true political and social power, they just twist in the wind.
FULL DISCLAIMER: Although I am a blogger for Being Latino and also help them with their Twitter account, my views listed here are my own personal opinions and do not reflect the opinions of Being Latino as an organization. However, I will say that it still makes me proud to be part of the most amazing Facebook community for Latinos anywhere.
UPDATE, April, 2012: I am no longer with Being Latino, but wish them the best in all their past successes and their future ones!