Candor is a rare thing these days, particularly within mainstream media such as network news and other outlets with over-arching commercial affiliations. In an environment that is obsessed with mass appeal, image and ostentation, one must often read between the lines to get at what is actually staring him right in the face.
Perhaps it is this institutional obfuscation that has given rise to new media, such as the niche websites and blogs that are currently taking the media landscape by storm and redefining the boundaries of what journalism is and what it should be. While video killed the radio star, as they say, by favoring image over talent, new media is in essence reviving the radio star that is hard journalism by placing the importance back on the message, instead of on the production.
And it is the desire to get the message out in a raw and undiluted fashion that characterizes the content that is being put out by the recently-launched Guanabee.com.
The site covers everything from immigration issues to pop culture in a way that is opinionated and unapologetic.
“We’re here calling it like it is,” says the site’s editor Daniel Mauser. “Our goal is to accurately portray the state of Latinos in contemporary culture, and that’s it,” says Mauser. Mauser says that in mainstream Hispanic media, there is much to be desired in the way of honest self-reflection about the Latino state of affairs. He notes that oftentimes, as the result of U.S. Hispanics being the target of criticism, Hispanic media finds itself defending or advocating for a particular group, regardless of whether they are legitimately criticized.
“We don’t just go out there attacking people for no reason,” says Mauser. “If there are Latinos doing interesting things, and pioneering some new area we are more than happy to cover it. But we are not going to give people a free pass just because we happen to be of the same ethnicity.” As such, people like irreverent comic Carlos Mencia find themselves in the firing line at Guanabee for their ideological viewpoints or confusion over their own ethnicities.
According to Guanabee, the response has been quite positive. “We just launched last week, but so far our readership has been consistently doubling itself every day.” He says that the majority of the site’s readers are located on the coasts and along the border regions, with some scattered readership in Spain and across Latin America.
The site has gotten advertiser interest from FOX, which is using the site to promote its upcoming youth-oriented films, “28 Weeks Later”, “Waitress” and “Once”, as well as from some smaller companies which share the same attitudes about Latino life in the U.S.