DePaul University Students Launch 'La DePaulia'
SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
Spanish language publications have been closing down in the U.S. The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, BuzzFeed News Mexico, HuffPost Mexico all shut down their Spanish-language sites in 2019. But in that absence of coverage by Latinos and for Latinos, some student journalists hope to fill the void. This week, the DePaul student newspaper in Chicago launched its own Spanish language publication, La DePaulia.
Hillary Flores is the editor-in-chief. She joins us now from the studios of WBEZ in Chicago. Thanks so much for being with us.
HILLARY FLORES: Thank you for inviting me. It's a pleasure.
SIMON: What's your editorial vision for La DePaulia?
FLORES: So what we see in La DePaulia is a online news publication from the university that can transcend not only covering topics occurring near DePaul, but kind of going beyond that and being able to inform our Latinx community over topics that are occurring internationally and locally as well.
I understand that as students, we cannot fly off to Puerto Rico, nor Venezuela, nor Mexico, but there are definitely communities around us, like Humboldt Park and Pilsen, that represent those countries which we can interview and kind of just do our job as journalists - inform the public without there being any borders nor hurdles of language.
SIMON: So the publication is intended not just for DePaul students, but you hope a lot of the Spanish-speaking neighborhoods that are on the North Side.
FLORES: Correct. Correct. We knew that there was a problem. We knew that there was a lessened coverage for our communities. And we decided to approach that by doing something, by making something. We wanted to not only be able to provide an outlet for Latinx journalist students at DePaul to publish their articles, but also inform beyond that and go towards the Chicago area.
SIMON: I gather you were born in Venezuela but grew up in Chicago, right?
FLORES: Correct. Correct. I come from a country where if you speak up, you are tortured or you are killed. And I decided that here, since I have a voice, I'm going to make a change in this country, and I'm going to push so that my community can have the voice that they deserve.
SIMON: I do have to ask because as somebody who grew up with the Tribune and the Sun-Times and The Daily News and the American, I get a little depressed every time I see how thin the Sun-Times and Tribune can be today. What are you going to do that's different or expands what they're doing?
FLORES: What I think makes us different is that we are younger voices. We might not have the years nor the age of many of these journalists who have been in the industry, but we are able to give you a little grain of salt of how young voices see and capture what is going on internationally and locally in their neighborhoods.
SIMON: Have you heard from people already?
FLORES: Yes, it's been an overwhelming support and response. But as always, there are some negative commentary that does highlight upon English should be the only spoken language here in America. But I always try to kind of change my mindset and be like, hey, I'm actually doing this for my community. I'm giving my community a voice.
SIMON: I hope you don't pay too much attention to the negative stuff.
FLORES: Well, thank you. I try not to.
SIMON: Hillary Flores, she's editor-in-chief of La DePaulia, thanks so much for being with us.
FLORES: Thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure.
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