Get access

The President on Spanish-Language Television News


  • An early version of this article was presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association Conference in Chicago, Illinois. Research funded in part by the Center for Spanish-Language Media at the University of North Texas. Thanks to Johanna Dunaway, Eric Juenke, and Amnon Cavari for helpful comments and suggestions. The authors shall share all data and coding for replication purposes.



Different audience demographics and preferences should produce significant descriptive differences in the content of presidential news, with Noticiero Telemundo (Telemundo) newscasts offering more treatment of presidential news concerning issues pertinent to Latinos than NBC Nightly News (NBC). In addition, presidents can influence Spanish-language news by targeting policy issues and locations most relevant to Latinos.


We offer a basic descriptive comparison of news features and also use probit methodology to predict the conditions that contribute to Spanish-language presidential news coverage over 85 days in early 2011.


Although Telemundo and NBC devote a similar amount of coverage to the president, Telemundo appeals to its Latino audience by reporting on issues relevant to Latinos. In addition, presidents increase the likelihood of Spanish-language news coverage by visiting border states.


Presidential influence of the news extends to Spanish-language television, even though Spanish-language news covers different topics in comparison with English-language news coverage.