After a great run, the Winning the Internet blog has been retired. However, you can still keep in touch with New Media Mentors here.
As we get ready for Netroots Nation 2015, we’re taking a closer look at some of the convention’s most exciting training sessions. We’re interviewing the trainers and taking you inside some of online activism’s most popular and elusive topics.
Today we’re interviewing Jocelyn Torres of ProgressNow Nevada Action, who’ll be leading How to Get Coverage in Spanish Language Media, along with Chuck Rocha of The American Worker, Latino Project.
NN15 Training Session
How to Get Coverage in Spanish Language Media
Spanish language media outlets are springing up throughout the country, and if your issue or candidate is not appearing in these outlets, you’re not communicating with a significant and important constituency. Don’t miss reaching out to valuable allies because you don’t speak Spanish or don’t know where to start. Learn the basics of finding reporters, building relationships with Spanish language media outlets and getting your issues or candidates some coverage.
Q: Tell us about yourself and your experience working with Spanish language media.
A: After graduating from the University of Southern California with a degree in public relations and political science, I returned to my hometown, Las Vegas, to try and work in a field that included a little bit of everything I studied. I began my Spanish language media work when I joined Nevada Assemblywoman Lucy Flores’ re-election team. She was and still is very involved in the community, and I was constantly fielding interview requests. After transitioning to ProgressNow Nevada now Battle Born Progress, I further developed my pitching and media planning skills. It’s one thing to be on the receiving end of media calls, it’s a complete other story when you are the one doing the pitching, and what you’re pitching is not a rising political Latina. I didn’t allow my sometimes complicated progressive issues to stop me from attempting to make the pitch or build relationships. Those persistent pitches paid off. During the 2013 Nevada Legislative Session, progressive issues like gun violence prevention got more in-depth and often fairer coverage in local Spanish language media than local English language media.
Q: In your opinion, what is the biggest mistake people make when attempting to work with Spanish language media outlets? Why do you think organizations sometimes shy away from this?
A: The biggest mistake I believe is not even making the effort to reach out. Spanish language media reporters have to cover all the major news stories any other reporter covers, but often don’t get invited or sent releases because the issue is not “Latino”. Every issue no matter what it is, is of importance to the Latino community. I understand some organizations shy away from making the outreach because they don’t have a Spanish speaker on staff. However, there are ways to get around this, and as organizations we have should do our best to figure out a way.
Q: What are the two most important things to keep in mind when working with these kinds of outlets?
A: The most important thing to keep in mind is that most local reporters are understaffed yet are hungry for the political backstory, research and other information you might have that they can’t just Google search. They may not have the time or connections to do the digging. You most likely have this and can clarify why X candidate’s “gun violence prevention supporter” flier doesn’t add up because s/he voted against background checks in your previous session. Don’t take your insider knowledge for granted because this can make you an important resource and ally.
Q: Why should folks attend your session at Netroots Nation, and how can they connect with you?
A: Conservatives are making a big push in the Latino community specifically via Spanish language media outlets and reporters. If we continue to push aside or say we can’t tap Spanish media outlets to advance progressive issues, our voices will be left out and all Spanish speakers will hear is the other side of the story. We have to do a better job of ensuring progressive issues are understood and heard in this community otherwise we will be playing catchup to a trail of misinformation.
The best way to contact me is via Twitter – @Jocy_Torres
To attend this training, or one of the 39 others at Netroots Nation 2015 in Phoenix, register now.