On social media, gratuitous violence, and how the 2010 Census impacts ethnic advertising

Veteran journalist Sandy Close, with a career that spans decades helping to give voice to those who don’t often get heard from, speaks about the importance of connection to create a more cosmopolitan view of the world. Very timely topics, considering how often we talk about connection in social media.

Be sure to listen to the conversation at about 22:00 when they touch on social media. To paraphrase, she and Michael Krasny discuss that while it’s tough to get advertising in newspapers now, ethnic media has managed to get more, but there is “communications apartheid,” as Ms. Close calls it.

Social media campaigns are run by PR or advertising agencies, predominantly white, who have very little experience in these markets. They’ll say that they’re “doing the ethnic thing” by working with Univision, but that means they’re missing out on a huge variety of ethnic markets. There’s a great opportunity to reach many, many populations. The most promising thing in the field of advertising for ethnic media, which is primarily supported by small businesses, was the 2010 Census, which was the first time a government agency committed more than half its advertising budget to community and ethnic media.

Also, at about 11:00, she gives great insight into the rise of gratuitous violence in the 1980s, which came, as she says, from her generation turning its back on its youth, who responded by lashing out violently because they had no other voice, no other way to “make their mark.” The most powerful word for these people was ‘converse.’ They wanted to know that someone wanted to know what they had to say. She links it to the rise in themes in fiction such as Stephen King’s “The Shining,” where the hero is the young boy, and it’s his father who betrays him, not the sheriff or the corrupt institution, as in her day. It’s abandonment by intimates.

Again, the need to connect is fundamental.

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