Multicultural Media: 13 Must-Read Industry Updates from 2022

2022 Multicultural Media News - stack of newspapers

Photo by brotiN biswaS on Pexels.

We’ve been following the big media industry news throughout the year, and that includes the latest developments in multicultural media. Reaching underserved audiences was a key goal for the media this year and we noticed newsrooms focusing on inclusive storytelling and brands shifting more of their ad dollars to minority-owned media.

As we near the end of the year, we decided to take a look back at the big multicultural media headlines from 2022. Some were included in our weekly Media Insider roundups, while others were distributed via PR Newswire.

Let’s dive in.

AP, Ida B. Wells Society, Maynard team up on inclusive storytelling
Editor & Publisher

The Associated Press, The Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, and The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education announced plans to work together to improve diversity in newsrooms and reporting through journalistic and leadership training and more inclusive storytelling. The Inclusive Journalism Initiative aims to improve coverage of race and systemic inequality and improve newsroom training opportunities for people from underrepresented communities. “The glaring and persistent lack of diversity, equity and belonging across journalism has deeply eroded the credibility of this craft, particularly in the eyes of communities of color,” said Maynard Institute Co-Executive Director Martin G. Reynolds.

BLCK Press expanding footprint, launches newsroom to address lack of diversity in reporting ranks
BLCK Press | Georgia Fort

In May, BLCK Press, an independent news organization, announced its new newsroom in Minnesota dedicated to changing the racial narrative in the state. “The new initiative will address the lack of opportunities in the Twin Cities metro area for reporters of color who are just starting their careers, allowing them to gain skills and experience without moving far from home and their communities,” founder Georgia Fort said in her announcement. “As the Twin Cities continues to be at the center of a racial reckoning fueled by the murder of George Floyd and other police killings, we must ensure that these racially charged stories are presented fairly. It is vital that we increase the number of BIPOC reporters and opportunities to shape the narrative in our communities.”

Factchequeado launches to combat misinformation in Spanish-speaking communities in the U.S.
NiemanLab | Hanaa’ Tameez

Laura Zommer of Chequeado in Argentina and Clara Jiménez Cruz of in Spain launched Factchequeado after noticing that misinformation in Spanish targeting U.S. Latinos was also reaching Spanish speakers in their respective countries. “One of our approaches here is thinking if we manage [to get] platforms and the companies to put attention into Spanish-language misinformation in the U.S., that is going to benefit our regions and our languages in the long term,” Jiménez said. The service journalism project partners with English- and Spanish-language publications in the U.S. that want to republish its fact-checks and explainers in return for helping it reach broader audiences.

Female-Led Latino Media Network Launches With $60 Million Acquisition Of TelevisaUnivision Radio Stations
Forbes | Veronica Villafañe

The Latino Media Network (LMN), a media content creation, talent incubation, and distribution company aimed at reaching the Hispanic market, launched in June. Co-founders and social media entrepreneurs Stephanie Valencia and Jess Morales Rocketto raised $80 million from a diverse group of investors, celebrity advisors, and high-profile entrepreneurs. “With minority media on the decline, now is the time to be investing in more resources to create content for Latinos by Latinos,” said Valencia. The company initially focused on audio and purchased 18 radio stations in 8 of the top 10 Latino markets in a $60 million all-cash deal with TelevisaUnivision.

Roku Adds Mucha Televisión to a Hub for Spanish Speakers
Vulture | Eric Vilas-Boas

In a move that “just makes sense,” Roku debuted its new Spanish-language hub, Espacio Latino, over the summer. The hub features Roku Originals programming as well as 50 live Spanish-language channels spanning sports, news entertainment, telenovelas, movies, and music categories. Other streamers, including Tubi, Paramount, and NBC’s Peacock, are experimenting with ways to reach Spanish speakers in the U.S. “Everyone seems to know that understanding your Spanish-speaking viewers es una buena idea,” Vilas-Boas wrote for Vulture.

Ethnic media was devastated by Covid. Now publishers are struggling to self-fund.
NBC News | Anuz Thapa

The pandemic dealt a blow to the entire journalism industry but it was especially tough on small, ethnic news outlets that may not have had the resources to stay afloat. For example, all four Nepalese newspapers in New York City were forced to go completely digital. Veteran journalist and founder of the nonprofit Ethnic Media Services, Sandy Close, said print is particularly important in ethnic media. “There is a very real importance of that physical print publication. In a cafe, people will read the newspapers as a social activity, and I think the importance of print runs very deep,” she says. Research suggests that even though digital subscriptions and advertisements have increased, ethnic news outlets have not benefited much.

Seven Georgia news outlets led by people of color get $2 million in funding
NiemanLab | Laura Hazard Owen

The Pivot Fund, a venture philanthropy organization that aims to invest in news outlets traditionally ignored by funders, chose seven news outlets in Georgia to receive a combination of direct grants and consulting support. All seven outlets are run by people of color and target Black, Hispanic, or Asian-American audiences. These organizations are in communities that “a lot of people would tag news deserts,” Tracie Powell, head of the Pivot Fund, said. She continued, “not only are these organizations covering communities — BIPOC communities, communities that look like them — their news and information is filling information holes. They’re lifting the entire information system.”

Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group Acquires Black News Channel
Deadline | Greg Evans

Over the summer, Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group announced it was set to acquire Black News Channel out of bankruptcy for $11 million. The acquisition would add 300 million linear and digital subscribers to the AMG portfolio of assets, which includes The Weather Channel, digital platforms like Local Now and HBCU GO, and the Grio Streaming App. “Allen Media Group will deliver a best-in-class network to serve the underserved African-American community and the advertisers who want to reach this extremely valuable audience,” Allen said.

Nielsen study shows media industry and marketers often miss the mark in connecting with Black consumers

2022 saw a 10 percentage point decline in Black viewers who are more likely to buy from brands that advertise in inclusive content compared to 2021. Nielsen looked at the reasons behind the decline in its recent report, “Amplifying Black voices in media: Creating informed, thoughtful and authentic experiences.” The company found Black audiences are searching for authentic and nuanced media content and campaigns and care deeply about how they are represented. Charlene Polite Corley, Vice President, Diverse Insights & Partnerships at Nielsen, said, “Black audiences wield cultural influence and growing buying power, and serving the needs of this community is not only good business, but it is also the right thing to do.”

Multicultural Media & Correspondents Association forges change for people of color
AFRO | Michelle Richardson

The Multicultural Media & Correspondents Association (MMCA) entered the metaverse with the launch of BIPOCXChange. Its goal is to increase access to multicultural media via the metaverse, drive coverage, and ensure equity and inclusivity. The metaverse solutions include “an Op-ed Syndication and a Speakers’ Bureau Hub that syndicates thought/op-ed pieces, analysis and provocative angles from BIPOC voices with unique perspectives about the issues of the time that can be contributed to and accessed by users on a weekly basis,” according to MMCA President and BIPOCXChange CEO David Morgan.

P&G’s Marc Pritchard: Buyers Need To Step Up Investments In Black-Owned Media
AdExchanger | Alyssa Boyle

Speaking at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) Masters of Marketing Summit, P&G chief brand officer Marc Pritchard said multicultural markets could be “the economic growth driver for decades to come.” His call to action stressed the need for more investment in Black-owned media, as well as media owned by other minority and ethnic groups. He called on industry professionals to create more relevant and representative ads and find the media inventory to run them – through programmatic channels or direct partnerships with media companies.

Havas Media Group Launches a Multicultural Media Practice
Radio+Television Business Report | Adam Jacobson

The advertising and PR firm’s new multicultural media practice is “expressly designed to help brands meaningfully engage Hispanic, African American, Asian American and LGBTQIA+ audiences and consumers.” Anabela Bonuccelli, a 10-year Havas executive, will lead the new initiative. Bonuccelli said, “It is imperative for our clients to approach multicultural media experiences through an integrated lens and build smart, strategic programs that are culturally-relevant and tailored to their needs and desires.”

CVC, Group Black partner on bid for Vox Media
Axios | Sara Fischer

In their second potential transaction announced in November (here’s the first), CVC Capital Partners and Group Black are reportedly pursuing a joint bid to buy Vox Media. Vox, which was valued at around $1 billion in 2015, runs popular digital media brands like Eater and SB Nation. CVC and Group Black sent Vox a term sheet outlining details for a potential deal, even though Vox is not currently looking to sell, according to a source. CVC, a European private equity giant, is eyeing a consolidation move into more media assets across the U.S. Group Black is trying to get marketers and ad agencies to shift more of their ad spend to Black-owned media outlets.

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Rocky Parker is the Manager of Audience and Journalist Engagement at Cision PR Newswire. She's been with the company since 2010 and has worked with journalists and bloggers as well as PR and comms professionals. Outside of work, she can be found trying a new recipe, binging a new show, or cuddling with her pitbull, Hudson.

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