Some Initial Thoughts on Flama and Latino Rebels' Rebel Report

Univision strikes again!

First they create Flama, the first digital network for English-speaking Hispanic millennials. Then they sought collaborators. They found Latino Rebels.

In case you miss it, the infamous Latino Rebels have added "executive producer" to their growing list of roles in Latino media by joining forces with Flama to create Rebel Report. The show has the potential to be a shorter, browner Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. Millennials love Last Week Tonight, The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, and other topical comedy shows done excellently for the Internets.

Topically, a lot more could be done with Latino stories via online video.  There's a lot going on in Latino affairs in the U.S. and abroad. Most experts agree that Latino outreach before last week's midterm election was lacking, at best. As in every election, hindsight is as unsatisfying as it is crystal clear what went wrong for both parties in their Latino outreach.  What if there were a show that delved into Latino campaign issues as they happened?  Rebel Report could be that show.

In Mexico, where most Latino immigrants to the U.S. are from, 43 students disappeared in Iguala. The mayor of Iguala and his wife have been arrested for their murder. Stateside media hasn't really picked up the story in English yet, with a few exceptions, including Fusion's Mariana Atencio, who traveled deep into the scene of the crime to broadcast world-class investigative journalism for the young network.  Can you imagine the raging outcry that would result if 43 Yale students disappeared?  If the governor of Connecticut resigned and the mayor of New Haven were implicated and arrested?  The nation would talk about nothing else until the issue was resolved.  In most stateside media outlets, what happens in Mexico mostly stays in Mexico.  The Web is where coverage of Mexico's 43 missing students lives in English.  Rebel Report is a perfect format to build the audiences for narrative digital video in English.

As Atencio is establishing herself as our Latina Christiane Amanpour, a courageous and determined inquirer who is flawlessly bilingual, who will be our Latino John Oliver (Juan Oliver?), the hilariously serious investigative comedian? Latino Rebels and Flama held auditions for the Rebel Report's frontman. R.J. Aguiar emerged at the top of the pile. The guy has a lot of presence. You can check him out here:

The writing is sharp and edgy. The content is topical. It's a minute and 22 seconds of what is missing in Latino online videos. The production totally works.

The end of 2014 promises to be a crucial time in Latino political history. Just last week, President Obama was grilled at the White House by non-Latino press on immigration reform. He promises a pro-immigrant executive order by year's end. Rebel Report should be all over the details. Consistently outstanding political comedy is still missing in Latino digital video culture in English. The collaboration between Latino Rebels and Flama is fit for the moment.