La Raza publisher says Latinos treated like “Martians” in upcoming election

23 Oct

Ruben Keoseyan, publisher of La Raza, Chicago's largest Spanish-language newspaper, speaks during a DePaul University journalism course on Monday, October 18, 2010. (Photo by Kevin Sherman)

By Courtney Sturgeon

Will the brewing midterm elections spark a surge of Latino voters as it did in the 2008 election of Barack Obama for the White House?

Not according to Ruben Keoseyan, CEO of Chicago based ImpreMedia and publisher of La Raza—the largest Spanish-language newspaper in Chicago. National organizations promoting the vote and Obama’s plans for immigration reform are what Keoseyan said “set the conditions” for an increase of Latino voters during the 2008 Presidential election.

“I don’t know that it’s ever going to happen again,” said Keoseyan, of expectations for the Latino turnout Nov. 2. “It was just the perfect storm then. I have not seen one advertisement of any candidate in any Hispanic market here.”

“Latinos are not Martians,” said Keoseyan. “The same issues that impact everybody else, affect Latinos too.”

Educating this community on issues and candidates is vital in generating a strong voter turnout, according to Keoseyan, something he takes seriously as publisher of La Raza.

“I have a responsibility to educate; to guide,” he added. “I think there’s a lot of inaction on the part of candidates to get out to these people. You have to get out in the Latino community and spend money in that market to get the vote but [the candidates] don’t care because it’s not an important vote to them.”

Keoseyan, a 25-year news veteran, has worked in Mexico, Puerto Rico and California. In 2000, Keoseyan began a five-year term at ImpreMedia’s Los Angeles daily, La Opinión, the largest Spanish-language daily in the country. He began as its managing editor and in 2004 was promoted to executive editor.

He became La Raza’s publisher in Chicago two years ago.

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