WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York
THE BOYCOTT AGAINST EL DIARIO LA PRENSA WORKED
You should know that a few days ago, all of the celebrations for El Diario la Prensa’s 100th year of existence came to an end. All of the party hats and horns were finally put away, and a special staff meeting was held where El Diario la Prensa’s Publisher, Rosanna Rosado, announced her retirement. Many believe the handwriting was on the wall for a long time – not only because ImpreMedia was purchased in early 2012 by the oldest publication in Argentinia, El Periodico La Nacion,– but moreover, because of the fallout El Diario la Prensa has suffered since my grassroots boycott against them which began more than two years ago.
You should know that on May 4, 2011, I sent an open letter to ImpreMedia’s CEO Monica Lozano, CFO Marshall A. Genger, and former General Publisher and CEO Rosanna Rosado announcing the boycott:
“The reason for this boycott is because of your constant and steady efforts to use El Diaro la Prensa to promote same-sex marriage and abortion, two social issues that directly oppose the moral values of most Hispanics … As a mere courtesy, I am informing you about our intentions. I would also like to inform you that there are enough Hispanics in New York and the tri-state area who will respond to this call.”
I received calls, emails and Facebook postings that were too many to count from my colleagues in government, constituents and El Diario la Prensa readers, offering praise and support for my boycott effort. People supported this boycott against the largest Spanish newspaper in the USA that clings to its motto, “El Campeón de los Hispanos” (the Champion of the Hispanics) because the paper ignores the strong social values of most Hispanics.
You should know that on January 27, 2012, an article appeared in the New York Post, "Don't cry for me, El Diario,” discussing the reasons for the downfall and ultimate sale of El Diario La Prensa. In his column, Mr. Keith Kelly wrote: “El Diario La Prensa has seen its circulation tumble in recent years, with some staffers blaming current leadership for mismanagement and ineptitude.”
Here is the first line from my January 27, 2012 What You Should Know in response to his column: “Our boycott against the newspaper, “El Diario La Prensa” apparently has resulted in a slow but sure downfall. Their house has collapsed, forcing them to find a buyer to resuscitate the corpse.”
And here is a piece of advice I offered in that same column: “My advice to the new owners of El Diario La Prensa is that, when a company does not work, you must cut the head and not the body. It is the head that directs, coordinates and gears the body to success or failure.”
You should know that in March, 2013, I publicly challenged Rosanna Rosado to make a difference for Hispanics who desperately needed the Dream Act to be included in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Budget. I challenged her to make that difference during the dinner at the Governor’s mansion that he held to honor her and El Diario la Prensa.
I wrote: “During that dinner, Rossana Rosado can use the opportunity to say publicly – with the same insistence El Diario la Prensa used to ask for New York’s Hispanic Senators to vote "NO" on the Budget – that El Diaro la Prensa demands for New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo to stop ignoring the immigrants and to put the Dream Act into the Budget.”
My dear reader, the handwriting was already on the wall for more than a year that changes at El Diario la Prensa would certainly affect Rosanna Rosado's career. In June 2012, the National Institute for Latino Policy’s Angelo Falcón wrote: “Rumors have begun to spread in the community that Rosado was on the way out, whether voluntarily or otherwise.”
And even though she had nothing to lose except to be a real profile in courage, Rosanna Rosado did not step up to my challenge and did not publicly write and demand action from Governor Andrew Cuomo in favor of the Dream Act. Instead, she and her cohorts from El Diario la Prensa privately joined the Governor in his mansion to eat his food and drink his wine. She remained deaf to the cries of a community of immigrants and from a community that comes from very conservative countries, with a tradition and culture far different from what the administration of El Diario La Prensa failed to understand.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am hopeful that change is in the air, and that the new management at El Diario la Presna will have the fortitude to let their publication support the strong social values of most Hispanics by offering an equal opportunity for all Hispanic voices to be heard as we strengthen our families and our communities.
This is Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.
Here's the link to the boycott letter: