Pitching tips and partnership plans for RadioArte & Vocalo at Nuestros Medios

Dear Readers,

Since the posting of story, Tony Martinez has left Telemundo and can no longer be pitched at their station.

People to Pitch: Tony Martinez, News Director Telemundo Chicago WSNS TV from Community Media Workshop on Vimeo. (this was inadvertently left off the post last week, sorry)

Are Chicago’s Latino-serving nonprofits “too shy or too buena gente” when it comes to seeking news coverage and editorial board meetings? That was one question Gerardo Cardenas of Contratiempo posed to our panel during a meet and greet that featured Gerardo with Tony Martinez of Telemundo Chicago, Fabiola Pomareda of La Raza, Teresa Puente from Chicanísima blog, and Tania Unzueta of RadioArte.

The topic, along with how to make news in the community and quite a few other questions, was hotly debated by the panelists and about 75 folks this afternoon at the National Museum of Mexican Art. Two nice bits of news at the event:

  • Vocalo and RadioArte jointly announced at the event that the former is sharing its HD signal with RadioArte and the two will collaborate on producing some content. Both stream online but Vocalo sharing its stronger signal will boost the audience for both stations by adding RadioArte’s public affairs, rock en Español and other content to its lineup. (Check the news release here or in Spanish here).
  • Tony Martinez of Telemundo Chicago reported that the station won a 2009 Emmy for “Outstanding Achievement for Alternate Media/New Media Interactivity” for Tu Voz which is the station’s online, phone bank and related services for connecting with its audience members, helping them with immigration, health or other issues they may face.

Here’s one round of good advice from the panelists, in response to Gerardo’s opening question: How can nonprofits in the Latino community insert themselves into the news that you journalists are producing?

Tania Unzueta suggested groups adopt and make full use of new media tools like Twitter and Facebook.

Teresa Puente emphatically agreed. She offered a little context: “The newspaper industry is shrinking because people are not reading,” she said. “More than 30,000 journalists have lost their jobs in the past year or two.”  She noted that when she was a reporter at the Tribune, it was a struggle but possible to cover stories from the neighborhoods and issues like immigration and it was hard—now with fewer reporters it’s even harder, especially since many laid off were people of color. “With new media I have a platform and I decide what’s important,” she said. It’s more opinion based, she noted but its ease, she said makes new media very empowering.

Tony Martinez offered a different take. “Sell your story to us,” he said. “Why is it unique? Why should we cover it?” (I will post up a short video of him as part of a “people to pitch” feature that he graciously agreed to do).

Fabiola Pomerada essentially agreed that it’s hard to get journalists’ attention sometimes. At La Raza, “There are three reporters,” she said. “One covers sports, one entertainment, and me local news. You can call before the event and maybe I can attend or afterwards you can send me a picture.” She raised the idea that community consider monitoring the news to see what issues are not being covered and use what they learned to present the gaps to news organizations or foundations.

What do you think–how well are Latino communities covered by metro newsmedia? By online new news? By community and ethnic media?

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Category: People to Pitch, Tips for Nonprofits

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