Written by Hadas Gold for POLITICO
Univision is officially launching its 2016 coverage on the day of the Iowa Caucus, calling it “Destino 2016.” The initiative will include already scheduled political events, a Democratic debate co-hosted with the Washington Post and a presidential candidates forum, specialized polling, data analysis, a new political blog, explainer videos and a “Who’s Who in Hispanic Politics ” data project, among other projects.
“Univision’s comprehensive coverage of the 2016 presidential election, beginning with the Iowa caucuses on Monday, February 1st, marks a new chapter in political reporting geared to Hispanic Americans,” Isaac Lee, chief News and Digital officer said in a statement. “As more than 27 million Hispanic voters get ready to cast their ballots in November, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that their voice will be decisive. Univision will be there to inform and empower them every step of the way, dedicating our best resources to ‘Destino 2016’ so that they can make informed decisions. Our unrivaled team of political reporters, commentators and analysts, along with the country’s most trusted Hispanic anchors, will again be the number one source of political news for Latinos in the U.S.”
The Spanish-language network has one of the largest reaches among television networks in the United States, regularly beating English-language competitors in evening news ratings in certain markets. Its star anchor, Jorge Ramos, and executives such as Lee, have been outspoken advocates for immigration reform. Ramos has regularly spoken out about immigration reform and has directly challenged presidential candidates on the issue, leading to him being kicked out of a Donald Trump campaign event. Lee — who has equated speaking truth in today’s politics to speaking out against the Nazis during World War II — vigorously defends Ramos’ journalist-activist role.
“He’s entitled to his opinion. I don’t think Jorge wants to be impartial, I think Jorge wants to be a responsible journalist,” Lee said in April during the International Symposium on Online Journalism conference in Austin. “Univision’s audience knows that Jorge is representing them. That he is not asking the questions to be celebrated as a fair and balanced journalist. He’s asking the questions to represent them. He’s going to ask the person whatever is necessary to push the agenda for a more fair society, for a more inclusive society and for the Hispanic community to be better.”
Univision’s main rival Telemundo has taken the opposite tact in its 2016 coverage, positioning itself as the place for objective, unbiased reporting on the election that is “without an agenda.”