Contemporary Latina/o Media: Production, Circulation, Politics

Contemporary Latina/o Media: Production, Circulation, Politics

Contemporary Latina/o Media: Production, Circulation, Politics

Contemporary Latina/o Media: Production, Circulation, Politics

Synopsis

Just ten years ago, discussions of Latina/o media could be safely reduced to a handful of TV channels, dominated by Univision and Telemundo. Today, dramatic changes in the global political economy have resulted in an unprecedented rise in major new media ventures for Latinos as everyone seems to want a piece of the Latina/o media market. While current scholarship on Latina/o media have mostly revolved around important issues of representation and stereotypes, this approach does not provide the entire story.

In Contemporary Latina/o Media, Arlene Dávila and Yeidy M. Rivero bring together an impressive range of leading scholars to move beyond analyses of media representations, going behind the scenes to explore issues of production, circulation, consumption, and political economy that affect Latina/o mass media. Working across the disciplines of Latina/o media, cultural studies, and communication, the contributors examine how Latinos are being affected both by the continued Latin Americanization of genres, products, and audiences, as well as by the whitewashing of "mainstream" Hollywood media where Latinos have been consistently bypassed. While focusing on Spanish-language television and radio, the essays also touch on the state of Latinos in prime-time television and in digital and alternative media. Using a transnational approach, the volume as a whole explores the ownership, importation, and circulation of talent and content from Latin America, placing the dynamics of the global political economy and cultural politics in the foreground of contemporary analysis of Latina/o media.

Excerpt

Arlene Dávila

If you have been reading the business news headlines, you would think that Latin@s are being showered with an unbounded selection of new media choices. Just ten years ago, talk of Latino media could be safely reduced to a handful of tv channels (dominated by Univision and Telemundo), a larger number of radio networks, a variety of more localized venues such as cable stations, and print news. Today, however, there’s a dizzying discussion of new tv channels, booming celebration of Latin@s as the “new” media market, and the entry of big media players anticipated to “transform” what we understand as “Latino media.” Yet neither communications nor media scholarship has kept up with these transformations, leaving us with few answers to overarching questions in the field of Latino media and communications. We know little about what really may be “new” about current media proposals, about whether Latin@s are being offered more varied representations and opportunities for jobs and access to media markets, and about the ways they are consuming and mobilizing new media for political aims. These are exactly some of the questions that this volume seeks to answer by calling attention to issues of production, circulation, distribution, and consumption. It does so by going beyond debates over images and . . .

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