The worst in the COVID-19 crisis seems to be behind us. While the country has suffered greatly, the first signs of an economic awakening are visible.
During the long and terrible months of the coronavirus, the print media as a whole lost positions, diffusion, content and publicity. Many have had to close their doors. This left consequences for the national news network, depriving many communities of their main source of information and comment.
The crisis has been especially cruel to the community or ethnic press such as the one included in Impremedia; with the media that compose it such as La Opinion in Los Angeles, El Diario in New York, La Raza in Chicago and La Opinion de la Bahía in San Francisco, that owe their existence to an organic bond with the communities they serve.
For decades, newspapers like ours have been important tools for the integration of immigrants into the country, helping millions of newcomers to be part of the American dream, helping them contribute to the country through their work, their taxes and their sacrifice. Thus, they have become population groups of increasing importance, represented in all spheres of the economy and governments.
And we’ve linked millions of readers to advertisers and the products and services they offer. We have done this by advertising on our pages. This mission continues. And the economic, social and political problems to which our community has been subjected have made it even more essential.
But here we are. In all Impremedia publications we are ready to continue our work, specifically to be the bridge between the community and the advertisers.
We must tell the truth: the crisis also accentuated a perverse anomaly in the proportion that the country’s main advertisers, agencies and corporations devote to ethnic media in the distribution of their advertising funds.
The fact is that the division of advertising budgets represents neither the importance of immigrant communities nor the leading role that publications like ours have in representing those communities. Advertising investment in the Hispanic market is only 6% of the total, when we are 19% of the population. And investment in minority-owned and operated media is less than that.
Specifically, they are reinvesting billions of dollars, but they are doing so, at an unacceptable rate, in the larger mainstream media and technology platforms.
That way, there will be those who say that advertisers are actually abandoning our community. There will be those who claim that they are adopting a discriminatory attitude. That they are insensitive to the fate of these media that are crucial for the very communities they say they want to reach.
Advertising invested in African-American-owned media also turns out to be minimal. It is also inadequate relative to its percentage of the population. For this reason, in recent months, important media owned by African Americans have mounted a public and successful campaign that is exposing the roots of that abandonment, which they accuse is the result of institutional racism. So they have shown us the way.
We stand in solidarity with this effort and demand that the treatment of ethnic media by agencies and advertisers change.
Because the decline of local and community news media not only destroys the media themselves but also their vision of an open, comprehensive, democratic society. A vision that corresponds to current demographic trends, where the percentage of Latino inhabitants grows throughout the country. Something that no one should forget: here we are and we are not leaving.
By leaving out media like ours, advertisers open the door to accusations that they are abandoning Hispanic readers, and that they do not consider them worthy of being part of their circle of consumers and users.
Just when many media and entities accuse advertisers and agencies of this, supporting Impremedia would be a key sign that those agencies and advertisers have a commitment to plurality and diversity.
It is time for you to reconsider the distribution of your advertising budgets without prejudice, without discrimination and with an eye to the future.
Iván Adaime CEO of Impremedia
Javier Casas CFO of Impremedia
Rafael Cores VP of Digital Content, Impremedia
Armando Varela, Executive Editor, La Opinion
Carmen Villavicencio Executive Editor, El Diario
Jesús Del Toro Executive Editor, La Raza y La Opinion de la Bahia
Gabriel Lerner Editor Emeritus, La Opinion