Industry leader kicks off SJMC’s Hearst Distinguished Lecture Series

Monica Lozano, the CEO of publishing company impreMedia, opened the 2011-’12 Hearst Distinguished Lecture Series at Biscayne Bay Campus Sept. 14. Additional lectures will take place next February and March.

'Empowered consumers such as Latinos in America today, with a seemingly limitless number of choices, force companies like mine to stop and take a look," said Monica Lozano at the Hearst Lecture Series kick-off event.

“Today, there are more English-language, Hispanic-oriented media targeting this population – so what’s fueling this boom, and how are companies like mine responding to stay relevant and connected to this audience?”

That was the central question Monica Lozano raised as she examined the “Leading Transformation in the Hispanic Media Landscape.”

The CEO of impreMedia and publisher of La Opinion and El Diario La Prensa newspapers was the keynote speaker at the kick-off event for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s (SJMC) 2011-’12 Hearst Distinguished Lecture Series. One of the most influential Latinas in the country, she was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness earlier this year.

More than 200 SJMC students and faculty, alumni and community members were on hand at the WUC Ballroom and listened as Lozano explained the reasons why the Hispanic journalism landscape looks the way it does in the United States.

“The most recent census was full of surprises,” she said. “Not only did the numbers far exceed our expectations, but they steered us in the direction we needed to move.”

Latino growth in America, Lozano explained, accounts for more than 50 percent of the country’s total growth. Add to that the fact that 62 percent of Latinos are native born, and that 40 percent of people under 17 years old in America are Latino, and a shift in focus is inevitable.

“Those of us who are in Spanish-language media consider this data because it completely changes the way we think about connecting to those audiences.”

Lozano said that Latinos have embraced technology at a more rapid pace than any other group in the country and consume more information faster. The “differentiator” for companies like hers will be how they can mine that information and provide “unique and relevant content.”

A conduit for learning

Journalism student Saaliha Jeffrey thought Lozano’s lecture proved “very informative.”

“The reason I came to FIU was because I wanted to learn more about the Hispanic culture and journalism,” the Chicago native said. “That community is constantly growing and I think it’s imperative that I learn as much as I can from it, especially if I want to work for a Latino media company.

“I definitely feel like I got some insights about the business today.”

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication at FIU has hosted the Hearst Distinguished Lecture Series for almost two decades. The program was made possible by a generous gift from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, and brings visiting communications professionals of exceptional accomplishment to share their experiences with students and the community.

Past speakers include Carl Bernstein, the pioneer journalist who broke the Watergate story; Dan Rather; and SJMC grad Lissette Campos-Perez ’89, director of community affairs at WFTS-TV ABC Action News.

The series’ theme this year is global communications and international issues.

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