Content Analysis. Hispanic readers come in all shapes and sizes

Many journalists writing for Hispanic papers are keenly aware of the differences between publishing for New York Hispanics and publishing for Hispanics in the Western U.S. Juan Andres Mora, reporter at La Raza newspaper in Chicago, explains. “Immigration is the most important issue to Mexicans, but Puerto Ricans are born with the Green Cards in their hands, so immigration issues are irrelevant.” Religious beliefs also vary with nationality. Mora: “Catholicism is very important to Mexicans, while Carribeans tend to be less religious and have their own separate traditions and rites.”

But do differences in interest have to do with nationality, or do they have more to do with acculturation, income and educational levels of readers?

Is the elite different?

Will a high income or high-level professional Mexican living in California be most interested in immigration or will she have more in common with people who hold positions in society similar to her own? Research by Spier-Dialog-Online seems to suggest the latter. “Overwhelmingly, Hispanic “influencers” (high-achievers and opinion leaders) show similar reading preferences to “influencers” in our other adult councils (African American and Baby Boomer),” says Annie Hayward of Spier, a New York based ad agency specializing in the publishing sector. Of course, Spier´s research focuses more on book publishing where content is less immediate and locally focused. Reader´s book choices may be influenced by very different factors than their newspaper choices. Spier's dialog online is a qualitative research tool created to help publishers develop, package, present, and market titles for specific audiences. Spier's client list includes Bantam/Dell, Penguin USA and Doubleday/Broadway.

“In each market (Hispanic, African-American, Baby Boomer), 50%-65% of the councils say they buy non-fiction more often than fiction,” says Hayward. “The types of non-fiction most often purchased are Biography, History, and Self Help/Self Improvement.” What about periodicals? “Spanish language magazines have come up. They seem to be most attractive to older members of the Hispanic population. Many of our council members have fond memories of being read to by their abuelo or abuela from Reader's Digest en Espanol.”


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