The latest census revealed a growing Latino population in Chicago, making journalism that not only tells the stories of the Latino community, but that speaks to them in their language, more important than ever.
In January 2020, student journalists at DePaul University launched La DePaulia, a Spanish-language platform reporting on DePaul’s and Chicago’s Latino community.
Editor-in-chief and co-founder María Marta Guzmán said that she and the other founding journalists saw an unfulfilled need they wanted to address.
“The reason why we started and why it was launched was because we felt that there was a need for Latino voices to be heard and specifically in Spanish. So we wanted to create a platform, there wasn’t a platform here at the pole, so we took the initiative,” said Guzman. “I think that anybody can cover stories in the Latino community, but obviously having a Latino reporter cover it can be different. We know the language, we know the culture. So I think that’s what makes it so important, is to have the proper accurate representation of our community.”
Managing editor Erika Perez says that her experience writing for La DePaulia has shown there is a desire for more and better coverage of Chicago’s Latino community.
“A lot of the people that I interview, especially on topics like education or the workplace, a lot of the people I come in contact with speak Spanish and … when I tell them about myself and what I’m doing, they say, ‘thank you for talking to me about this topic because I feel like a lot of people don’t know about it,’” Perez said. “A college community is so diverse. So them knowing about what the Latino community is like here, it’s very important.”
The student journalists say they’re continuing to evolve and grow. La DePaulia added podcasts to their lineup this month. Guzmán says she, Perez, and other La DePaulia journalists who are approaching graduation are preparing to keep the effort going after they’re gone.
“We are really trying to aim and advocate for this to become a course with another Spanish publication here at DePaul called Pueblo. Our mission is for this to continue even after we are here. So [we’re] definitely just doing a lot of groundwork and making sure that we can leave a strong foundation for the next generation.”