New media and modes of expression present issues that encourage understanding and reframing of modern Latino media. But in an older and little-studied medium that today is a cornerstone not merely of Latino but all mass communication—Spanish-language television such as Telemundo, Televisa, and Spanish International Network—a new need is found in a long unaddressed question: In an English-speaking country, how could a Spanish-language institution have emerged? The need for a first account of Spanish-language television is reflected in fervor among Latinos who believe its obscurity erases their history. Hidden historical source work can be and is found. A detective story that results in an inside story explains the meaning and prominence of Spanish-language television today. Significant yet unknown founding parents, historical roots tangled in two counties (Mexico and the U.S.), conflicts, and eventual landmark strides are introduced. Previewed are several themes and revelations. Because of foreign ownership restrictions, the now-giant Univision began as an outlaw firm. While U.S. mass communication is understood as a “Fortress America,” Spanish-language television internationalized U.S. media with implications scholars and experts have overlooked.
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