Every story about Univision’s Jorge Ramos includes a line about how he is an “influential Spanish-language anchor” as a way of introducing English-speaking audiences to a man they may not know much about.
But after Ramos’ high-profile clash with GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump in August, the opinionated journalist gained a new weapon to battle rhetoric and policies he feels are anti-Latino and anti-immigrant: a rapidly growing Facebook page that is exposing him to a larger English-speaking audience than ever before.
The numbers are pretty clear.
Ramos worked with Facebook’s Karen Comas, who handles U.S. Hispanic and Latin America strategic partnerships, and was given early access to the social network’s Mentions app, which allows public figures to broadcast live video straight to their page, much like Periscope and Meerkat on Twitter.
He had 190,401 fans on Aug. 10 when he started using Mentions. On Aug. 18, he posted his first big video: Using a dry-erase board with a map of the U.S. and Mexico, Ramos explained that Trump’s plan to build a wall on the border would cost $ 20 billion. The video was watched 6.3 million times.
On Aug. 25, Ramos was kicked out of a press conference by Trump. After sharing a clip of his interview on CNN about the incident, the video was watched 10.2 million times. Ramos gained 150,000 news fans, and his name would trend on Facebook for two days. The next day a video of his exchange with Trump received 3.4 million views and he gained almost 250,000 more fans.
By Aug. 31, he hit 1 million fans, roughly the audience he has on Univision every night.
Ramos is known for his tough interviews, particularly on immigration, and his support for an immigration overhaul. The Obama administration is no fan of the way he has grilled the president on the issue, but Republicans, and lately Trump, have drawn his ire.
“How do you effectively say what [Trump] is saying is dangerous to the Latino community?” Ramos said in an interview with BuzzFeed News.
The Trump incident was news, he said, but the platform has also given him the opportunity to be much more personal on issues that he cares about, with impact and immediacy.
He pointed to his most recent video where he discussed how the government would actually go about deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants over two years, as Trump has suggested. Ramos explained that the numbers come out to 458,000 people deported per month, or 30 747 jets filled with people every day, for two years.
Facebook’s Comas said Ramos has used the platform to do hands-on journalism and add visual elements to his stories.
“He embraced the platform right before these major moments occurred so he was able to communicate directly with people via Facebook where he’s been able to make a huge impact,” she said.
With Hispanic Heritage Month underway, a time when brands and politicians attempt outreach to Latinos in often wooden ways, Ramos said it may go against conventional wisdom that his audience is about 50/50 English and Spanish-speaking, numbers that Facebook confirmed.
He said it took him years to get 1.5 million followers on Twitter and even though he has Spanish-language columns published around the country and in Latin America, this new Facebook audience is a big deal for him.
“In 2016, more than 26 million Latinos will be eligible to vote,” Ramos said. “They can decide an election and they are connected every single day,” he said. “What I know for sure is that I don’t work only for Univision and Fusion but also that I have to use Facebook as a platform.”
Which is perhaps bad news for politicians whose rhetoric and policies he believes are bad for the Latino community.
Cortesía de: BuzzFeedFollow @DifusionLibre1