How a Shift in Demographics is Changing the Media Industry

Media and Education Offer Alternatives for Spanish Millennials

By Emily Zoda

Welcome to Emily’s “Take on Media!” In every Issue of the Banner you’ll start seeing this column where I talk about a variety of topics in the media, be it podcasts or journalism, and how it plays out in the grander scheme of it all.

Spanish speaking media has been making waves in the past 20 years, uniformly in time with most millennials who are first and second generation Spanish speaking Americans.

“Demographically there is this huge shift,” said Jillian Baez, a Latino media studies professor at CSI. “There are more Latinos living in the U.S.”

With the recent launch of New York Times’ Spanish edition, more Spanish speakers not just in New York but nationally can get original reporting from correspondents in places such as Venezuela, Miami, and Argentina. The team is anchored in Mexico City.

Over the last 15 years, Nielsen has started measuring audience numbers for Spanish media outlets such as Univision, one of the top ten prime time channels people tune into every night.

This has allowed for advertisers to better measure television’s peak times and better serve Spanish speaking consumers.

New York’s second most spoken language is Spanish.

Many cable providers offer Spanish speaking news and entertainment channels, many of which simply import their news from Latin American news channels and broadcast them on the American channels.

The news is something people of all languages watch, when English speakers tune into channels like ABC or Fox, Spanish speakers tune into Univision or Telemundo.

“Advertisers have also been paying attention to Spanish speaking audiences because they see them as having a lot of buying power,” said Baez.

Even the New York Times launched the New York Times in Espanol digital edition, which is free to read with ads targeted for Spanish readers in hopes of turning them into paid subscribers of the publication.

But the impact of Spanish media has been significant now to the lucrative 18-34 year old demographic. Magazines like Latina are appealing to bilingual or English speaking Spanish millennials.

Undocumented students are fighting for the right to an affordable college education. Reports by the Pew Research Center have shown higher numbers of Hispanics enrolling in college, and other reports have shown a rise in graduation rates in Hispanic students as well.

Even the Republican National Committee in their 2012 self-commissioned autopsy of the party, “The Growth and Opportunity Project,” cited the courtship of Hispanics as next to essential.

The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism has launched an initiative to create an educational and professional subject concentration for bilingual journalists to work in Hispanic communities. Giving millennials who grew up watching the news with their parents to the opportunity to produce news for the Spanish speaking community.

“There is an urgent need for a graduate school to train bilingual journalists to serve both the growing Hispanic community in the United States and the global market,” said the director of the Spanish-language Journalism Program, Garciela Mochkofsky in a statement. “We will prepare new generations of journalists to thrive in a changing media ecosystem and to come up with new ideas about what the future of the Hispanic media should look like.”

The National Dominican Students Convention–an event featuring Hispanic elected official and activists among other guests–hosted at CUNY this year, reiterates that fact to attendants.

It helps to get students engaged and network with members of the Latino community.

“I know more about immigration laws than most people because Univision taught me,” said Claritza Quezada, a senior at CSI.

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