Huff Post ‘Voces’ Striving to Win Over Latino Readers Online

m_kosover_voces500x279While many mainstream media outlets are trying to reach the sought-after, online-savvy 20-40-year-old Latino market, Huffingon Post Voces Editorial Director Gabriel Lerner believes he has found the key with his new site.

Huffington Post Voces provides a service that doesn’t exist anywhere else, according to Lerner: a collection of information from diverse international and national sources, and a commitment to provide truth to readers in their native language.

HuffPost Voces, a Spanish-language website, launched May 2012, aimed at Mexicans and Mexican Americans living in the U.S. The task at hand, said Lerner, is winning over these young, desirable readers who are known to consume their news from a variety of places.

“We want them to stick to us and stay,” Lerner said.

A potential obstacle for HuffPost Voces is the growing share of Latinos consuming their news in English, according to findings in a recent Pew study.

Can HuffPost Voces capture its target audience through the wide variety of options? Lerner seems to think so.

Transitioning from AOL Latino

For more than a decade, Lerner had been the news editor and columnist at La Opinión, the largest U.S. Spanish-language daily newspaper. A few years after AOL purchased The Huffington Post, AOL approached Lerner with an idea: AOL wanted to create a site in the spirit of the Huffington Post that would reach the Latino community here in the U.S., similar to what their previous site, AOL Latino, had done.

Transitioning from AOL Latino to HuffPost Voces was a challenge for Lerner. The site would evolve from lighter, entertainment news to an expanding realm of breaking news, in-depth commentaries, politics, and blogging, Lerner said.

AOL first created a section of Huffington Post called Latino Voices, designed for Latino readers in English. The next step was to provide this service in Spanish. For several months Lerner collaborated with various members of the publication to transfer AOL Latino to Latino Voices and eventually to HuffPost Voces.

As the editorial director, Lerner’s responsibility involved landing-page decision making. Answering questions like, “What do we think is most important?” and “What do we want to show our readers today?,” Lerner identified three main areas: news, politics and sports.

Being associated with The Huffington Post provides many advantages, tools, ideas and target readers, Lerner said. HuffPost Voces is able to explain “Obamacare” and immigration policies, offer both national and international opinions, expand the dialogue to bloggers, dabble in culture, arts, and sports, – all services Latinos in the U.S. want and need, according to him.

“Every month there is some progress,” Lerner said. “But there is a lot of way to go if we want to be more… if we want to be the site of choice.”

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