Univision & Telemundo dominate the Hispanic news market

I speak to Hispanics about their thoughts on the Corona Virus, given the increased spread in this population according to news sources, I receive varying degrees of responses, from complacency to paralyzing fear. From those who I can gather more insight from on why they feel the way they do, I asked where do you get your information from to help inform your thought process?

In my small, non-scientific study, many of those who are more complacent and not as concerned about getting infected, are those who are 2nd & 3rd generation Hispanics. As I dig deeper, I uncover they get their news from various sources. They read posts on social media, websites with varying political leanings and some radio stations, based on their music preferences. These news sources are primarily in English, with some Spanish interjected into their news sources. The radio stations can have English or Spanish dominant programming. 

When asking the same questions to 1st generation Hispanics the responses change. The question posed is where do you get your information on the Corona Virus from?  Their responses have been, they get their news primarily from Spanish only media. For the unenlightened, there are two major Spanish language TV news stations in the U.S., Univison https://www.univision.com/ and Telemundo https://www.telemundo.com/.

Univision occupies first place in market share and Telemundo follows in second place, respectively. There are a few others in the U.S. market, not worth mentioning, given these two dominate the Hispanic TV news market.  Univision and Telemundo provide their news only in Spanish. Therefore, their audience who is primarily Spanish dominant,  only consume their news due to language barriers. Their audience often have “very limited” English proficiency mostly conversational, but can’t follow along with a English only news broadcast. This places these two stations (Univision & Telemundo) in a position to drastically shape the narrative of what Spanish dominant Hispanics see and hear regarding the Corona Virus, as well as other social, cultural and political issues.

It’s not uncommon to hear that those Hispanics who are more fearful about the Corona Virus are more apt to get their news from these sources. These news outlets viewers have little recourse to go elsewhere due to language barriers. Of course, there are other news sources in Spanish, i.e. newspapers, websites and social media pages. But these Spanish only news sources are in the same position of power if controlled by the same two players. These two news organizations own a host of print media, radio stations and websites. Few independent sources are available that provide unbiased and balanced news for the Spanish dominant population.

As I have listened to these news outlets, the news reported is mainly negative on the Corona Virus, with constant doom and gloom. But they’re also more liberal in their reporting philosophy on many social and political topics. These news outlets know they have a captive audience that has little recourse to obtain “Spanish only” news elsewhere. This places them in a powerful position to shape and manipulate the thoughts and minds of their Hispanic audience to whatever agenda they want to push.

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