San Antonio

‘It’s my passion to keep it alive’ | La Prensa Texas continuing to evolve century-old newspaper

“We shall be greater and I would really like to say sooner or later we shall be throughout the nation.”

SAN ANTONIO — To at the present time, Yvette Tello nonetheless remembers her very first encounter with the late and former writer of La Prensa Tino Duran.

Tello was working at a lodge in San Antonio the place an occasion was being held that day. Staff members informed her she could be presenting an honor of recognition for Duran. Tello had no concept who he was.

“They said before you get in front of that man you better make sure you know who you are honoring because he will put you on the spot, and thank God, I did well with him,” mentioned Tello.

From that second on, she started to be taught extra about Duran and the bilingual newspaper. At the time, La Prensa was owned by Tino and his spouse Millie. The couple assigned the pages of their newspaper to native journalists to write in regards to the Latino group in a optimistic gentle. Up till this level, the couple felt a lot of what the mainstream media confirmed had been crimes amongst Latino youth.

The Duran’s wished the tabloid to spotlight stunning Hispanic cultural occasions and tales in San Antonio.

“Everyone knows about La Prensa. Everyone knows that you either read it, your grandfather read it or they took your picture and you were in the [paper]. My quinceanera was in there. I [even] found out my own family members worked for the original La Prensa,” mentioned Tello.

La Prensa started circulation in 1913. It’s authentic mission was to function the voice of the Mexican exile group and problem Mexican public coverage. For almost 50 years, it was the main Spanish-language newspaper circulating in South Texas up till its first demise in 1961 due to radio and tv competitors.

In 1989, La Prensa de San Antonio was relaunched. This time by the Duran household… my household. 

Some of my fondest recollections rising up embrace spending time on the office with my grandparents. In truth, that’s the place I fell in love with storytelling.

In 2017, my grandfather handed away from Alzheimer’s illness. Within a year of his demise, the paper closed its doorways. Not even a day later, Tello mentioned the paper reopened on the request and assist of my uncle Steve Duran.

“When [Steve] got word that the paper was about to shut down he came to me and told me that he couldn’t let that happen and asked for my assistance,” mentioned Tello.

Tello admitted she knew nothing about operating a newspaper business.

“It was exciting. It was scary. It was eight pages and the hardest eight pages we had to put together because we had to make sure the print didn’t stop. We had staff that came on board that actually worked at the original La Prensa and that was nice because we had their expertise,” she mentioned.

The first version of La Prensa Texas was printed and distributed on Father’s Day of 2018.

Leonard Rodriguez helped incubate the paper by permitting La Prensa Texas to office from the Westside Development Corporation office the place he was CEO on the time.

“It was a no brainer. Seeing the history and the legacy of the Duran family, and the brand itself we just knew it could not let the paper disappear. We knew how important the paper has always been, continues to be, especially when it comes to getting information to a part of the community that doesn’t get all of these information,” mentioned Rodriguez.

Not solely did the WDC home the paper, it additionally helped fund the paper so it may launch its digital section and proceed to increase its attain to all components of San Antonio.

“It feels like we are on the right trajectory and I’m glad the city’s not forgotten us. Our community continues to embrace us especially the south side and west side,” mentioned Rodriguez.

Rodriguez at the moment serves as chairman of the board for the paper.

“My job is to make sure we are expanding La Prensa into the next century,” mentioned Digital Director Roy Aguillon.

A year in the past the paper launched its digital platform.

“I want to produce stories that can outlast us. That can give people hope and inspire them to be better than they are today,” mentioned Aguillon.

That consists of producing tales for the platform they really feel nobody is telling about communities of shade.

“La Prensa has allowed us the opportunity to be ourselves and to tell the stories that we believe to report on,” mentioned Aguillon.

Tello mentioned they’ve plenty of readership is in Los Angeles, California, due to the web platform.

“Tino Duran, his dream was that we would be across Texas and that was something that we wanted to honor, we wanted to fulfill. Thankfully it’s been happening,” mentioned Tello.

At its core, the paper continues to be Tello’s important focus. She is at the moment the paper’s interim writer.

“I’m a paper person. I love it and I love to be able to hold it. It is my passion to keep it alive. It’s a dying industry across the Unites States but here at La Prensa Texas we have no intention of getting rid of the print. We have to make it attainable to those who can’t just pick up their cell phone,” she mentioned.

Right now, the paper is conserving its doorways open by commercial. She not too long ago utilized for nonprofit standing however talked about the pandemic has delayed the method with the IRS.

“What that means for us is that we will be able to apply for grants so that we can pay real salaries and grow our staff. Right now, we have to count on our sales people to make this happen for us [to keep the doors open],” Tello mentioned.

As for the longer term, she is optimistic.

“We are only getting bigger and better. We are evolving with the times. We are not just staying print. We have our digital team, our radio podcast and those are things we never had before. We also have a board of directors that are pillars in the community,” she mentioned.

“I believe that we are not going to be in no way shape or form the same paper that we were. We will be bigger and I would like to say in the future we will be across the country.”

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