Denver 7 and La Voz, the state’s #1 Hispanic-owned, bilingual newspaper, are partnering to try to better serve Colorado’s burgeoning Latino population.
The announcement is being made during Cinco de Mayo week.
"The goal is to showcase the vibrant and authentic Latino culture in our communities," Denver7 General Manager Brad Remington told the newspaper. "We will strive to tell stories that uncover problems problems and fight for solutions. We are excited to be working together with La Voz on news stories, special projects, events and community service."
“We hope to share great stories and cross promote great stories,” said La Voz Publisher Pauline Rivera. “We want to get those stories that haven’t been told yet, that affect Latinos.”
Rivera said she’s proud to partner with an organization where she worked for 15 years.
Before taking over La Voz, Rivera worked at KMGH-TV as a Programming Manager and Community Affairs Director from 1990 to 2004.
“It’s kind of full circle,” she said. “I was approached by Brad Remington to work on things together. Brad and the folks there know the importance of a growing Latino population and what it means to Denver and Colorado.”
Rivera said La Voz began back in December 1974, when Jose and Wanda Padilla saw a need for a bilingual newspaper to provide news and information to the Latino community.
“I believe it started in the basement of their home and eventually grew to what you see today,” Rivera said.
She said she and her husband purchased the newspaper in 2008.
“I was actually an employee of La Voz at the time,” she said. “The opportunity lent itself for us to purchase the paper…so we rolled with it. Never did I, in a million years, think I would end up with a bilingual publication, but I love it.”
When asked why, Rivera replied, “I’m very proud of my culture. I’m very proud of the fact that I knew two languages when I started school at age six. I didn’t think it was a big deal then, because everyone in my class spoke two languages, but as I grew, I thought ‘oh my goodness, you knew two languages at age six.’”
The publisher said La Voz perpetuates her culture and her languages.
“It’s all rolled up into everything that is near and dear to me,” she said, “and I’m earning a paycheck too, so that’s part of it.”
Growing Latino Population
Rivera said she was very surprised by the 2010 Census.
“The numbers said that Colorado’s Latino population had grown by 40 percent,” she said. “That just floored me and pressed my vision even further.”
The latest Census estimates show there are nearly 1.1 million Latinos in Colorado.
Thornton City Councilman Val Vigil says many of them live in the Thornton area.
“If you look Thornton Parkway as an example, south of there, you’re looking at close to 60 percent of the population,” he said.
The former state lawmaker said one of the reasons for the concentration in that part of town is affordability.
“People can’t afford to live in Denver anymore,” he said, “so they’re moving up here more and more.”
Rivera recently moved the newspaper’s headquarters up to Thornton and said they are poised to grow along with the Latino population.
“We have 120,000 plus readers and we’re statewide,” she said.
Rivera added that her goal is to get into other states and become the number one bilingual publication in the southwest.
Rivera said La Voz has covered several major stories including the Pope and Mother Teresa.
“We’ve won more than 50 awards,” she said.
Most of them are Jose Marti “gold” awards from the National Association of Hispanic Publications.
“They’re like the Emmys,” she said.
Rivera pointed out several editions that she is most proud of.
“This is Dolores Huerta at a rally here,” she said. “She was talking about the Cesar Chavez message.”
Huerta and Chavez co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers Union.
“This is our home grown boxer, Michael Alvarado,” she said, pointing to another issue. “We covered him when he won a championship in Denver.”
“We also get into politics,” she said, pointing to an issue covering Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070. “We won an award for the artwork on that story.”
And finally, “This is a very special edition,” she said, pointing to a copy of the newspaper with a photograph of President Obama. “We were granted an interview with President Obama in 2012. The only Spanish language and bilingual publication granted an interview.”
She said the audio from that interview is on their website.
“We’re very, very proud of this edition,” she said.
Cinco de Mayo
Newspaper employees have been working hard to put out the Cinco de Mayo edition.
“With a special edition, we have a lot of space concerns,” said Editor Tiffany Wood. “We have to put in news, but also lots of ads.”
Click here to access the online Cinco de Mayo edition of La Voz.
Wood said this year’s Cinco de Mayo issue is bigger than usual because it includes several ads for Mother’s Day.
“We just roll with the punches,” she said. “We have to make sure this story is this length or we have this much space to fill, so we find photos to include with the stories.”
When asked what it’s like to see the final product roll off the press, Wood said, “There’s a little bit of a buzz because it’s like ‘we did this.’
She said they hope to win another award with the this edition.
Rivera said her staff is fairly small, but each employee does quality work.
“I’m very proud of each and every one of them,” Rivera said, “because they do topnotch work, whether it’s photography, editing, doing the books or circulation. Whatever it might be, they do an excellent job. I have the very best.”
“I’m very proud to work here,” Wood said.