The first episode of the program SuperfineOne of four audio programs launched at Futuro Studios this year, it says so. Journalist Maria Hinojosa at a recording studio in New York with David Louis “Suave” Gonzalez who was sentenced to life in prison in 1988 at the age of 17. In the studio, Little Black Box, he has flashbacks of his time in the dungeon. “In Pennsylvania, there is no condition,” he says. “When you come they ask you which box you want to put it in.” It becomes emotional. Hinojosa who started following him in 1993, has also collapsed. “Did you know I’ve spoken to you here dozens of times?” She says that the little black box is where I ran a lot to record phone calls with him.
“It really was like that,” says Julio Ricardo Varela of Futuro Studios via video call. “She was running meetings regularly when I called will.” Mexican-American Hinojosa is now a well-known journalist and voice Latin america, One of the first national radio programs for Latinos in the United States. She has worked for CNN and won several journalism awards and an Emmy for talk show Maria Hinojosa: One to one.
Hinojosa was one of the first to give a voice to the Latino community in the United States, the fastest-growing population group in the United States. Futuro Studios, the new creative arm of Futuro Media Group, which she founded in 2010, continues this trend with four new podcasts: Anything for Selena, Personal story of journalist Maria Garcia about the cultural legacy of singer Selena Quintanella. Norco 80, About a violent California bank robbery and No preega A podcast about the meaning of the American Dream in Puerto Rico, the American island in the Caribbean, where 43 percent of people live in poverty. La Brega and Anything for Selena are available in English and Spanish.
Suave’s opening is evident because it illustrates two features of Futuro’s approach: the personal relationship between the interviewer and the subject, and the output of a voice that you hardly ever hear in the American media.
Suave got into prison as a teenager, and was a mom. He is told his IQ is 56, but conversations with Hinugosa who also sent him Christmas cards make him believe in himself and learn to read and write. The United States is the only country where you can receive a life sentence as a minor. His situation seems hopeless, but then comes a Supreme Court ruling that gives young men sentenced to life imprisonment a second chance. Hinojosa wants Suave’s invitation to succeed. She feels her frustration, her personal connection, and that is touching. “We chose not to make it the introduction to the podcast,” said Marlon Bishop, head of creativity at Futuro Studios. “We’re not easily afraid of it getting too personal, but we are serious about our journalistic choices.”
Podcast anything for Selena is as much about journalist Garcia as it is about singer Selena. The journalist uses the life of the Tijano singer loved by millions of Mexicans in America after her death in 1994 as a grip to a very personal account of what it means to be Latino in America today. “We want to give young Latino makers the opportunity to tell stories on their own terms,” says Bishop.
Garcia, who grew up, like a singer on the border with Mexico in Texas, says she laughed at school because she has a Spanish name. Her teacher decided to call her “Maryam” without deliberation. The family in Mexico had just mocked her for making mistakes in their Spanish. Like Selena, Garcia’s first language was English. In the first episode, she explains, “Selena taught me that it’s okay to be Mexican and American.” When she meets Selena’s father, she then confesses that she acted like a little girl to know everything about her uncles. She explains that she lost her father right before filming. At times like these, it comes very close to traditional journalistic standards. Although these types of personal thoughts also say a lot about family dynamics between Mexican parents and their daughters.
Her personal approach also meant that Garcia finally won the trust of Selena’s father. It offers beautiful tales from the early days of Selena, when the singer had to perform with her brother and sister as “Selena e Los Dinos” to earn a living. Is this exploitation or loyalty? Garcia provides food for thought.
The excerpts you hear from the “Jock Shock” radio program Howard Stern, the day after the death of Selena, who blames Mexican Americans for “the lie” and invites them to “go home”. Meanwhile, there is a lot of humor in the podcast. The ensuing episode explains how Selena made a big spank both acceptable and desirable long before Kim Kardashian did. It wasn’t until Selena made them palatable to a white crowd that big buttocks became perfect for beauty, Garcia explains. Bishop says this combination of air and dryness is typical of Futuro products.
Drake in Beyonce
Today, rapper Drake wears Selena’s shirt and Beyoncé calls her an inspiration. But for an entire generation that didn’t feel like it was neither Mexican nor American, Selena was the first role model to allow them to embrace their dual identity. “It is a target group that is not served by the Spanish-speaking media and television” – the TV series that can be watched on Telemundo and which is popular with the first generation of Latinos – “but that also does not identify itself in” High-quality podcasts made by white journalists, “Varela says. Almost exclusively. ”“ The second and third generation Latinos in the United States miss a voice. ”
Vice President Varela explains that Futuro Studios is now playing that audio itself. “There have been very few structural changes in the American media landscape since the 1980s. Media companies run by Latina women journalists, like ours, are operating with two levers across the US. You can try to change traditional media from the inside, but we prefer to open the media landscape on our own terms.”
A copy of this article also appeared on nrc.next on March 9, 2021