OC Weekly editor Gustavo Arellano is criticizing some of the nation’s largest news publications for not reporting on a “mega-superstar” until it was too late.
In his piece titled “Death of Jenni Rivera Proves—Again—How Clueless Los Angeles Times and MSM Continue to be About Mexican Anything,” Arellano calls out NPR, the New York Times, Long Beach Press-Telegram and most notably the LA Times for not paying much attention to Jenni Rivera prior to her death.
The media requests for me to opine on the death of Mexican regional superstar (and Long Beach) gal Jenni Rivera are already coming in, and I expect them to only increase as the American media trips over themselves to cover the story. After all, I’m America’s Mexican, right? I’m more than happy to take them, if only to help the MSM correct their pathetic record on reporting on a mega-superstar that operated in plain sight under a media that, like usual, didn’t bother to pay attention while she was alive because she was a Mexican and popular mostly to Mexicans—and they never matter unless you can get a diversity grant to cover them.
No media outlet is the bigger sinner, however, than the Los Angeles Times, the perpetual pendejos when covering Latinos in Southern California. A look through the Proquest archives show that they never did a single full profile on Rivera—not once. The only full stories on her were two—one was a story on a reality show involving her youngest daughter. Another—of all things!—was a real-estate story on Rivera purchasing a multimillion-dollar estate in Encino. Before her death, there were only two other shorter stories, both by freelancers: a concert review, and a record review.
Arellano also pointed to similar criticism made by Univision’s lead anchor Jorge Ramos.
“The English media doesn’t understand the TV coverage in Spanish of the death of [Puerto Rican boxer] Macho Camacho and Jenni Rivera…that’s why their ratings fall,” Ramos tweeted on Sunday evening.
Ramos may have actually been alluding to the lack of coverage on English language media on Sunday.
But the biggest media failures in the Jenni Rivera coverage were stories that led with comparisons between Rivera’s death and the murder of Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla.
What other time in the world would people compare and contrast the tragic deaths of pop stars and put them against each other? It appears it’s only when they’re Latinas.
And journalists please stop comparing Selena and Jenni without doing your homework on their different histories, eras, and contexts— Josh Kun (@JDKun) December 11, 2012
Yesterday, Josh Kun, a journalism professor at USC noted the upcoming river of comparisons between Rivera and with Selena Quintanilla.
And he was right. A quick Google search will show you dozens of respected news organizations are still comparing the two Mexican-American singers.
And P.S: Just one quick life lesson, resist temptation and don’t click on headlines that compare people’s experience. That’s what’s called “Oppression Olympics.” Click on this link instead.