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Huffington Post wants to speak Español? But is it necessary?

LatinaLista — The Dailyjuez blog site is reporting that editors at Huffington Post are looking into the possibility of creating a Spanish version of the site.
(An email to the Huffington Post Press spokesman replied to a Latina Lista inquiry that there were no current plans for a Spanish HuffPost.)
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“We have been thinking of having a Spanish version of Huffington Post. We are studying it,” said Huffington Post editor Roy Sekoff, who remembered that the Hispanic population is “the segment of the United States population that is growing the most.”

Yet, we ask, “Is it really necessary to create a Spanish version of Huffington Post?”
For U.S. Latinos who are online, it’s been documented that those U.S. Hispanics who are Spanish dominant are the least likely to go online in the first place.

According to a 2007 Pew Hispanic Study – Latinos Online

78% of Latinos who are English-dominant and 76% of bilingual Latinos use the
internet, compared with 32% of Spanish-dominant Hispanic adults.
76% of U.S.-born Latinos go online, compared with 43% of those born outside the
U.S. Some of this is related to language, but analysis shows that being born outside
of the 50 states is an independent factor that is associated with a decreased likelihood
of going online.
80% of second-generation Latinos, the sons and daughters of immigrants, go online,
as do 71% of third-generation Latinos.
89% of Latinos who have a college degree, 70% of Latinos who completed high
school, and 31% of Latinos who did not complete high school go online.
Mexicans are the largest national origin group in the U.S. Latino population and are
among the least likely groups to go online: 52% of Latinos of Mexican descent use
the internet. Even when age, income, language, generation, or nativity is held
constant, being Mexican is associated with a decreased likelihood of going online.

With news that Spanish-language media is actually shrinking in the United States, exemplified by Dallas’ Spanish-language newspaper Al Dia cutting back from a 6-day publication schedule to a 2-day and news that some Univision television stations have closed in some markets, it doesn’t seem that Spanish-language media is that much of a necessity in reaching the U.S. Hispanic market, as it once was thought to be.
The rise of bilingual/English-language Latino-focused cable programs underscore what has always been known in the U.S. Hispanic community — English is the preferred language among those families who are of second, third and beyond generations.
While we may like to listen to our music in Spanish, and even watch the occasional telenovela, the bulk of our information we get in English.
A Spanish version of Huffington Post would appeal more to those Spanish-speakers outside the United States who feel very connected with what happens in this country.
In that regard, a Spanish version wouldn’t be a bad idea if the intent is to bridge a border gap but that can raise a whole new set of questions.
What do you think?

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  • Antonio Ibarra
    November 1, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Muy interesante saber de la posible intención de lanzar en español, ahora con la posible obtención de premio por parte de la 3a edicion de
    Open Web Awards, Social Media Edition, desconozco si a esta fecha ya se haya concretado la posibilidad a que se refiere esta nota que he leído.

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