CNN en Español has taken on a whole new look since Cynthia Hudson took the reins, revamping the network’s programming while re-launching its multiplatform business in the US, Latin America and Mexico. Under her leadership, the network has won two Emmys, three GLAAD Awards, two Promax-BDA awards and an honorable mention at the Shorty Awards for its social coverage of the 2014 Venezuelan crisis. While times have improved since Hudson began at Univision in 1984, there’s still room to grow when it comes to diversity. “The industry should always be looking at a wider definition of diversity so that it is not limited to race or ethnicity or gender,” she says. “People see life and experiences from their personal lenses and those help to inform their creative input and expand our opportunities to cull talent from a broad gamut of diverse points of view.”
In what areas should the industry step up its efforts with regard to diversity and inclusion?
The industry should always be looking at a wider definition of diversity so that it is not limited to race or ethnicity or gender but also to diversity of thought, religious or spiritual views, diversity of platform preference (are they interested in gaming or social media content or digital), diversity of experience. We should be looking at people’s backgrounds and life experiences. Do they come from Rural or Urban hubs? Has someone grown up in an environment that was limiting financially or full of opportunity? People see life and experiences from their personal lenses and those help to inform their creative input and expand our opportunities to cull talent from a broad gamut of diverse points of view.
What’s your best advice to someone just entering the video content/distribution industry?
I always tell people to be their most authentic selves and to prepare themselves well. It is not simply having attended a great school, but rather it means being culturally aware, intellectually curious and open to engaging with depth of thought. People should be able to succinctly express who they are and what makes them unique and how they can add to the conversation, the content and the business they are interested in impacting.
What’s been the most dramatic change in your sector of the business today vs. three years ago?
The news business has been impacted by the political discourse that has qualified all news outlets as “Fake News’. This has raised the bar for those of us who feel the enormous responsibility of holding truth to power. We need to ensure that our journalistic standards and rigor are not compromised and that we avoid the bait trap and continue to work with the integrity that is essential to our very democratic existence as the fourth estate.