Jorge Ramos has seen it all. The award-winning journalist (who was recently named one of TIME’s most influential people) has covered all manner of news and events in his career. Now, on the English-language program, America with Jorge Ramos, he tackles the issues the way they are handled now—through social media and cutting edge journalism. We asked him why he’s happy to be part of the Fusion family, and what he thinks the next president needs to do to get to the White House.
What do you like most about being part of the Fusion family?
When people talk about the future—the future for us is right now, especially when it comes to journalism. Many people, for many years, thought that the future for journalism was going to be social media. It was going to be young people covering stories in different ways with a different approach when you have almost 100 million Millennials in this country. You were thinking that the future was going to be a few decades away—well, the future is right now. And I think on Fusion we’ve been able to bring the future to the present. We’ve been able to take all those ideas that people thought were going to be happening in a few decades, and we’re doing it right now. We are not waiting for that, and I think that’s the big difference—that at this point, whenever we have to cover a story, you can see it on Fusion as it would have been done in 10 or 20 years.
We’re in such an interesting time in America. So much diversity is being included and embraced, why do you think it is important to reach not just an English-speaking audience, but a bilingual audience?
Simply, it’s a matter of numbers. Right now, if you see there are 55 million Latinos. Then in about 35 years, there are going to be about 100 million Latinos. One in three Americans is going to be a Latino. If you want to be in control, either in business or in politics, you have to know what’s going on. Talking about the future, if you don’t pay attention to that young audience, if you don’t pay attention to Latinos, you’re going to lose the future. That’s for the challenge for the political parties; they know that they need young voters. They need Latinos. The only way for them to reach the White House is going to be through stations like Fusion. There’s no other way. For them to get to the White House you have to go through us. And maybe that sounds like a sales pitch, but that’s the truth. If you see the number of Latinos and the number of Millenials voting for the next election, they will decide who’s going to be the next president of the United States.
So when you talk about diversity, it sounds like a nice philosophical approach, but it goes beyond that. It really means power. If you do that, if you are more inclusive, more diverse, it means more people will watch you, and it means that eventually you’ll get more power in business and in politics.
With the rise of social media, you are now able to connect so much with your viewers. What do you like about that kind of connection? Being able to do a report and ask them what they want to see.
The truth is, I can’t compete as a journalist with Twitter or Facebook or Instagram. I can’t. If there is an airplane crash right now in China or an accident in France or a shooting in California—I can’t compete with that. So instead of rejecting social media and saying, “Well I don’t know about them, or they’re not credible enough, or I don’t know who they are,” I think the only way to succeed is to embrace social media in whatever we do. And that’s what we’re doing. I think Fusion.net and Fusion on TV are doing a great job embracing new technologies and embracing social media. And what I like is that’s not what we learned in college. That’s not what we learned in journalism school. You have to embrace those new technologies in order to succeed. Instead of rejecting that social media, if you embrace it and put it in perspective as a journalist, and you know what’s credible and what’s not that makes the whole difference.
You were also just named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people. What does that mean to you being recognized by your peers for creating this audience that believes in what you say and trusts you?
It’s full of symbolism, and I think it’s not that they are seeing me. It’s seeing who I work with and who I represent. So they are seeing a huge audience of Millenials watching, and they are seeing the growing Hispanic community, and they are seeing an immigrant. I think it is the changing face of America. During the speech at the TIME 100 Dinner, I told them that many people were surprised to see an immigrant on the cover of TIME magazine, but it really reflects where the country is going. And I think that’s the country that we recognize in Fusion. That’s the country we are trying to project. That’s the country that we’re covering and reporting about.
Obviously, I’m very happy, and it’s been a fantastic two weeks. But basically what they are saying is, we know who you are, we recognize that, and we recognize who you are representing.
When you have the time, what do you love to watch on television? What excites you and interests you and what can you not miss every week?
I watch every single episode of Homeland. I watched The Borgias recently. Believe it or not, with my son and daughter we watch Girls. And, of course, some of the funny stuff that we have on Fusion. I’m introducing my family to Fusion, and now they are the ones who tell me what shows that they like.
Watch AMERICA with Jorge Ramos on Tuesdays at 10/9c on FUSION (Ch. 342).