Last month, on August 16, Latino Media Collaborative (LMC), the parent company behind CALÓ NEWS, hosted its second annual Latino Media Summit in Sacramento. At this year’s summit, the themes were equity and representation, as was maximizing the reach, power and impact of Latino-focused media. The event also celebrated the vibrant realm of Latino journalism. 

Founded in 2019, LMC strives to develop high-impact media and outreach campaigns in partnership with the Latino media sector in order to advance, inform and keep Latinos engaged.

As stated on the website, LMC works to “build cross-sector coalitions between Latino and ethnic media, issue leaders and community influencers to ensure that our communities have access to high-quality independent news while building resiliency in the sector.” 

CALÓ NEWS team takes a picture with Hugo Morales after he received a lifetime achievement award from LMC.

The summit included a variety of distinguished speakers, media experts, journalists, city officials and local representatives, such as Veronika Moroian, President and General Manager of Univision Los Angeles; civil rights activist Dolores Huerta; CALÓ NEWS Opinion editor and CSU Long Beach professor Teresa Puente; LMC President Arturo Carmona; and Assemblymember Miguel Santiago.

The first guest speaker was Veronika Moroian, who spoke about Latino representation in television. During her presentation, she mentioned that Latinos currently represent 97% of California’s population growth. She also stated that 82% of Latinos in Los Angeles speak Spanish at home and that we will have more and more Spanish speakers as the Latino population grows.

“We are bilingual; we speak Spanish and we speak English, but Spanish is important because it is the language that connects us and drives us to take action,” Moroian said. “We appreciate it when candidates advertise in Spanish; the survey said that 73% of Latinos prefer Spanish advertisement.”

Teresa Puente, Opinion Editor for CALÓ NEWS, also addressed Latino media representation during the panel discussion. In her presentation, she discussed the challenges that Latino media faces in California. Some of those challenges include securing revenue, hiring full-time staffers, as well as a lack of fully bilingual talent and a much-need change in the perception of advertisers about the Latino community. 

“Many still think Latino-focused media is only in Spanish and stereotypical. We’re out here to change that,” Puente said. She also shared with the crowd how Jesenia De Moya Correa from the City of New York City, Latino Media Initiative, released an incredible research project. “She documented every single Latino media outlet in the country,” Puente said. 

The presentation included what De Moya Correa called the media map, which is an interactive map and directory of more than 600 Latino news media outlets in the United States and Puerto Rico. In the media map, media outlets are classified as newspapers, radio, blogs, TV, magazines, web, podcasts, newsletters, wire services and web-only. 

93-year-old Dolores Huerta still advocates for women, immigrants and farm workers. Huerta shared with the crowd crucial news about available healthcare that will benefit undocumented immigrants. “In 2024, all of the undocumented people in California are going to be covered by our healthcare system,” Huerta said. “And I think that should be a big role in Latino media, but it’s also important to explain how this happened. We need to educate our people.” 

Also, Huerta explained how a high number of undocumented people currently don’t apply for public healthcare benefits because they have hopes of bringing a family member from Latin America. And they think that doing so will interfere with their immigration status. She said that’s why it’s important to her that Latino media outlets seek to educate Latinos on important topics such as healthcare and voting. 

In addition, Huerta took the opportunity to show support for another cause dear to her heart, which is supporting the DC superhero film “Blue Beetle.” “Please go see it and promote it because we have a really genuine Latino superhero,” said Huerta, who had recently attended a private screening of the film. “It’s funny and a great movie,” she said, adding, “¡Sí se puede!”

The summit also incorporated an hour-long panel discussion about maximizing the reach, power and impact of Latino-focused media.

 The final panel discussion, on maximizing the reach, power, and impact of Latino-focused media.

LMC President and Founder Arturo Carmona led a panel discussion that emphasized the importance of Latino media outlets working with the State of California on a brighter future when it comes to public funding. Also, Carmona mentioned how one of the biggest challenges that Latino media faces is the lack of coordination with the state and various agencies and departments. “They need to do better in order to communicate with our diverse populations,” Carmona said.

Marcelo Gaete, Vice President of Government Affairs at Entravision, spoke about the ties that the Spanish language has with the Latino community. “We are the first storytellers, we are the first cultural landmark, we are the ones who keep reminding us of who we are,” Gaete said.

Gaete also talked about another of the challenges that Latino media faces, which is that technology is evolving. “We are swimming in water that is changing and evolving,” Gaete said. 

After the Latino Media Summit ended, guests were invited to attend a reception to further celebrate VIP Latino leaders while enjoying food and drinks. In addition, Carmona of LMC handed out awards; one was a lifetime achievement award given to Hugo Morales, the executive director and co-founder of Radio Bilingüe Inc., a national Latino public radio network. 

Hugo Morales, gave a speech after receiving an award from the Latino Media Collaborative.

LMC offers thanks to those who participated and attended the 2023 Latino Media Summit, as well as the volunteers and community partners who helped put this event together. We value your support and are grateful for the contributions you  have made to the success of the event.

Amairani Hernandez is a native of Los Angeles and a graduate of the California State University of Los Angeles with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She is a staff multimedia journalist, who focuses on...