Mainstream media has finally awakened to the profit potential of pochismo, according to the prestigious Columbia Journalism Review:
Lalo Alcaraz [photo, right] has always embraced the word pocho. It refers to Mexican-Americans who have lost their Mexican culture and speak English, and it’s what relatives occasionally called Alcaraz when he was growing up in San Diego. He has leveraged it ever since. In the 1990s, Alcaraz and a friend founded POCHO Magazine, which led to pocho.com. Both projects used English when, for years, “Hispanic media” usually meant Spanish-language content. They satirized Latino issues and poked fun at biculturalism. “We had the National Pochismo Institute,” he says, “where we would send out a fake survey and ‘rate your pochismo.’ ” Currently, Alcaraz hosts a radio show called the “Pocho Hour of Power” on KPFK in Los Angeles.
He was ahead of his time. Pocho is popping up everywhere these days, from Twitter handles to bands and performers. Not surprisingly, a new crop of news websites has emerged to tap the bicultural Latino market, too. Fox News Latino, HuffPost LatinoVoices, and the start-up NewsTaco all were born between mid-2010 and 2011, to cite some of the more prominent entries. This summer, NBC Latino launched an English-language website, and Univision, which had created a news Tumblr to generate buzz for its own new English-language site, says it plans to go live by the end of the summer. Alcaraz shuttered his magazine in the late 1990s, and his website petered out around 2004. But he kept the domain name, and earlier this year he re-launched pocho.com, now called Pocho: Ñews y Satire. “It’s sad that it took everybody so long,” he says.