American Journalism on Latinos
Let’s try it in English; it may be more relevant, and even profitable.
More and better American journalism on Americans of Hispanic descent is very urgent— no doubt about it.
Because of the fact that lack of information on Americans of Hispanic descent throughout mainstream media is the norm, misinformation prevails, with very painful consequences for all of us.
These consequences can turn deadly.
Earlier this year a person in Texas, misguided by the misinformation that fills the vacuum, didn’t hesitate to pick up an assault rifle and kill 22 people—half of them U.S. citizens—just because he believed those human beings of Hispanic origin (one of them was actually German) were part of a horde invading the country, as the existing narratives keep repeating.
In these sad circumstances, we welcome any new attempt by the rest of the media to shed light on an entire segment of the national life that has been kept in the shadows.
Most recently, here in our own hometown, Philadelphia, where the daily newspaper announced “El Inquirer,” the new digital page en español.
These developments are nothing new, though, over the past 25 years AL DÍA has been around.
‘El Inquirer’ is being launched just a couple of months after The New York Times closed an equivalent project, this one fully staffed with great writers based in a bureau in Mexico City—all of a sudden laid off because the for-profit corporation determined the venture was not as lucrative as it looked at the beginning.
Same reason why dozens of weekly Spanish-language newspapers launched by dailies across the country over the past 15 years closed —Gannett newspaper among them with its failed ”Nuestra Comunidad”—when it was proven it wouldn’t generate sufficient profits. The latest casualty was the Chicago Tribune's Hoy, whose closure was announced only a week ago because of the same reasons.
If Español doesn't work, why not try English now?
After all, English is the common lingo of the nation, understood by the majority of U.S. Latinos, and also the language through which the major media in American can finally begin to piece together for its millions of readers across the country and the world an accurate story of the nation’s largest ethnic group.
Here in AL DÍA we are going that route. Many more are welcome to join the enormous, pending undertaking.