Hispanic TV Summit: The ‘Delicate Dance' of Being First and Being Right

A lively debate on speed versus accuracy in journalism broke out at the
News Roundtable: The Importance of News Content to Hispanic Viewers
session. Keith Clinkscales, CEO of Revolt Media & TV, said the
digital world gives reporters the chance to break news with great
urgency — and also to quickly correct stories that didn't quite get all
the facts. "If you do it too often," he warned, "you begin to erode your
credibility with the audience."

Clinkscales spoke of a "mistake of
aggression" as "the best mistake to make," but some news professionals
on the panel saw that attitude as too permissive. "I think it's better
to be late than be wrong," said Juan Manuel Benitez, political reporter
at NY1 Noticias, who spoke of the "ego-driven" culture of trying to
scoop the competition by a few seconds before checking all the facts.

said the audience will forgive a news outlet that gets it right
"90%...95%" of the time, and reiterated that breaking news in fast
fashion is a core value at the new music network. "Our journalists that
get beat (on a story) are going to have a problem," he said.

posited that the individual reporter's reputation is that much more
prominent in social media. "If you damage that personal brand name,
you're done," he said. "You're finished."

Cynthia Hudson, SVP and
general manager, CNN en Español and Hispanic Strategy, CNN/U.S.,
acknowledged that it was a "delicate dance" between being fast and being

Dade Hayes, executive editor, Broadcasting & Cable, moderated the spirited discussion.

panelists spoke of the urgency in reaching the Hispanic consumer, which
was noted represents one out of three Millennials-and growing. Beau
Ferrari, executive VP of operations, Univision Networks¸ said Fusion,
the news channel launching later this month from Univision and ABC News,
would feature "humor and irreverence" to spice up the news mix. David
Javerbaum, former Daily Show executive producer, is creating a show
that's similar in spirit for Fusion. "We'll program every single show
like it's a 24/7 channel," Ferrari said.

The panelists also
acknowledged the challenge of supplying the right mix of content for all
media platforms, especially with a growing faction of the viewership
looking first to the mobile screen. "In their minds, it is all
interchangeable," said Hudson, who added that depth in reporting goes a
long way in keeping the various platforms stocked.

Benitez stressed
that Hispanic news is hardly a niche field anymore — it is mainstream.
News organizations that don't recognize that, he said, "are in trouble."

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.