Where the News Industry Stands Without Hispanic News Media
Ethnic media, specifically Hispanic news media have been under threat from diminishing ad revenue and the hemorrhaging of resources. Some of the largest Hispanic daily newspapers have seen a decline of Hispanic journalists by 13% from 1997-2013 along with a loss of readership as El Nuevo Herald saw a decline from 50,859 viewers 32,902 from 2014-2017. As Google and Facebook continue to siphon off advertising revenue that used to go to news publishers, these crucial perspectives are lost, leaving minority communities uninformed.
Earlier today, Rep. Gallego (AZ-7), joined by Ivan Roman, former Executive Director of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, along with Nick Charles, freelance writer and editor, and Save Journalism Project co-founders Laura Bassett, laid-off HuffPost Senior Politics Reporter, and John Stanton, laid-off former D.C. bureau chief of BuzzFeed, discussed the importance of Hispanic voices in media and the profound impact they have on communities of color in America.
Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-7), said, “As the Latinx population in the United States grows, it’s alarming to see that the Spanish-language media is actually shrinking thanks to large tech companies swooping in and gaining market control. A free and fair press that is accessible to all and representative of our communities is a critical part of our democracy. At a time when we’re seeing increasing threats to the free press, we must work to find a way to save journalism and make sure our community’s voices are heard.”
Ivan Roman, former Executive Director, National Associate of Hispanic Journalists, said, “We must find efficient ways to use more of the resources available to invest in news and information. Supporting those publications and journalists who dig deeper in their watchdog roles and who produce not just any content but good journalism in service of our local communities is essential for our society to function, for our people to understand one another more, and for our democracy to work.”
“This isn’t a coincidence,” said Nick Charles, freelance writer and editor. “The rise in layoffs and decline in readership numbers across the Spanish-speaking journalism landscape is directly and unmistakably correlated with the rise of big tech. Facebook and Google have reached new heights in recent years, further eating away at the market share of online advertising that funds newsroom salaries throughout the nation and especially evident in Hispanic communities.”
Laura Bassett, laid-off HuffPost politics reporter and co-founder of the Save Journalism Project, said, “Even as America’s Latinx population grows year after year, we’ve seen a downward spiral in Hispanic voices presented in the news. People of color are disproportionately impacted by journalism layoffs, with over 30% of all Latina newsroom workers having lost their jobs between 2009 and 2015. And as Latin issues and topics become an increasingly important part of our national identity, it’s now more important than ever to protect these perspectives and voices in our press.”
John Stanton, laid-off former D.C. bureau chief of BuzzFeed and co-founder of the Save Journalism Project, said, “Google and Facebook’s death grip on online ad-revenue is harmful to everyone, but especially the Spanish language news industry. Everything from local to national-scale outlets are getting killed, with places like NBC, Fox, and CNN Latino all taking hits, while the New York Times completely shut down its Spanish edition paper this year. Facebook and Google are knowingly and mercilessly turning a blind eye toward the havoc they’re wreaking on our democracy. There aren’t any acceptable excuses for their money-first actions.”