Giovanni Rodriguez, marketing expert and friend of Tek Lado, has a great column at ClickZ about the targeted programming Fox is doing:
Sometime last fall – just a few weeks before the mid-term election – News Corp. quietly launched a site called Fox News Latino. But it didn’t take long before things got noisy. The launch provoked a great deal of criticism, skepticism, and – in a more than a few cases – astonishment – from news watchers, Latino and non-Latino alike.
“No Way, Güey!”, wrote Antonio Ramirez at Change.org, opening his story with this line: “As if consistently twisting the day’s news stories for mainstream audiences wasn’t enough, in an attempt to profit from their favorite punching bag, Fox launched FNL last week.” “Que Que? …how do you say ‘no comprendo’ in racist,” asked Vivir Latino’s Maegen “La Mamita Mala” Ortiz, in an article that ran when news of FNL broke earlier in the year. Gawker, almost predictably, weighed in with the most quotable headline: “Fox News Targets Latinos Unaware that Fox News Hates Latinos.”
All of those responses make for good snarky blog posts—not that there’s anything wrong with snark; where would we bloggers be without it—but Rodriguez takes the analysis further by asking what FNL really wants, and whether it’s as nefarious as some believe. In particular, Being Latino’s Lance Rios has taken some heat for joining up with FNL, but Rodriguez writes:
But from my perspective – and this is coming from someone far more comfortable watching PBS than Fox – this is a great deal for Rios, Fox, and the general Latino blogger community, because it opens a channel of direct communication. An open channel of communication might help Fox get that distribution and content thing right. Yes, it might help Fox get a lot of things right, even if the cost for Fox is to move a little to the left. But whether it’s Fox, CNN, or some other media powerhouse, the rules of engagement will force a conversation that ultimately should be good for Latinos. Let’s see which organization gets it right first.
In the meantime, you gotta give Fox credit for trying – if you are a mainstream news company, engaging bloggers is a good idea, whatever your business or political agenda. And Fox is putting serious resources into the FNL initiative, deploying a dedicated crew to cover a wide range of stories across a broad geography.
For more of Rodriguez’s thoughts on the issue, go here.
P.S.: Whatever FNL is doing right or wrong, their logo is hideous. They should redesign that STAT.