Jenni Rivera and the Cultural Gap

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In his latest column, Univision anchor and commentator Jorge Ramos writes that the death of Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera illustrated the massive disconnect that exists between English-language and Spanish-language media.

The recent death of Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera underlines an enduring cultural gap dividing Hispanics from every other group in the United States. Indeed, it seems like we’re living in parallel universes.

Rivera, who was mother of five, was killed earlier this month following a concert in Monterrey, Mexico. She and six other people died when the private jet she was traveling in crashed while en route to Mexico City. As soon as the news of this tragedy broke, Spanish-language media organizations in the U.S. jumped to cover every detail about Rivera’s last days — what the beloved icon of Mexico’s “banda” music had eaten for her last meal; the age of the Learjet she perished in; why the stage she performed on in Monterrey was shaped like a cross. Grieving fans across the country wanted to know everything.

Meanwhile, English-language media organizations were left asking: Who is Jenni Rivera?

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