National Hispanic American Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, recognizing the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched the United States. This month, we spoke to leaders at four news organizations that serve Hispanic, Latinx and Spanish-speaking audiences to find out how they connect with their readers, what fuels their passion for journalism and how they stay competitive in the digital and print news market.

La Noticia • Charlotte, North Carolina

La Noticia is a digital news and newspaper organization that serves the Latino community in North Carolina and has four hyper-local newspapers: The Charlotte News; The Raleigh News, Durham and Chapel Hill; The Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point News; and The Asheville and Hendersonville News. La Noticia’s Vice President of Operations is Alvaro Gurdian.

What is one product or innovation that you’re particularly proud of?

We are proud of transitioning to meet our readers where they are. As the pandemic set in, we moved to digital and, in just over a year, we grew our web traffic from tens of thousands to over five million pageviews per month. We also started a newsletter and increased engagement through social media, and now we are growing our reach of local news on a new platform, video via our YouTube channel.

How does La Noticia stay connected to its readers?


We connect with our readers through the following products:

  • open for business 24/7. We upload between 55-60 new and original stories every day
  • Newsletter: It delivers about six stories to our subscribers daily
  • Six social media channels: We upload to our Facebook page about 35 posts daily. On Twitter 33 [posts], [and on] YouTube about eight videos per week.
  • Latin American Excelente Awards Gala: A black-tie event created to recognize the outstanding achievements of members of our community. We have been organizing Excelente for the last 23 years.
  • LatinaCon: Latin American Women’s Conference, an event created to educate and empower Latinas.
  • Four weekly newspapers: With our [news]papers, we serve about 300,000 readers each week.

How does your team learn about what content matters to your audiences most?

We make decisions based on data. Every week we analyze which of the stories made the most impact on our audience and find out why. Once we learn this we stay on track and give them more of what they want. We truly listen to our audience and take action based on data.

How has your approach to journalism changed throughout the years?

Our approach to journalism has not changed. We are still the bridge to and from the Latino community. The change has been moving from print to digital.

What have you needed to change to stay successful?

We needed to change our mindset from a legacy print publication to a digital start-up. This shift in mindset gave us the flexibility to update our workflow and keep our mission, [which is] local journalism.

What is something important to you about serving Latino and Spanish-speaking communities?

We serve people from all the 20 countries in Latin America. They left their extended families and culture behind to come to the United States in search of better opportunities. They want to be successful after taking this difficult journey.

They know that to be successful here in the U.S. they need news and information that will first keep them informed on what is going on in their communities, what jobs and other types of resources are available, news about the school system, the justice system, news about immigration, health care, public safety, entertainment, sports, etc. Second, they need the right information that will help them understand American culture, so they can adapt to their new home and be happy. And they need this information in their native language. We are very happy to serve them with high-quality journalism in Spanish.

What advice would you give to other journalists about how to effectively use innovation in media?

  • Remain laser-focused on the KPIs [key performance indicators] that tell you what your audience[s] want/need.
  • Develop a culture of listening to your audience and take action [on] what you learn from those listening experiences.
  • Do not write about what you like, write about what your audience wants[s]/need[s].
  • Test and learn continuously. If one idea doesn’t work, think of another and keep testing and learning.

La Raza Chicago • Chicago, Illinois

La Raza Chicago is a free Spanish newspaper and news website and is distributed throughout Chicago and its metropolitan area, mostly directly to homes in Hispanic neighborhoods. Founded in 1970, La Raza “prides itself in being the ultimate source for information and cultural connection for Chicago Hispanics.”

La Raza is part of the ImpreMedia family of digital media outlets, which includes La Opinión, El Diario NY, La Raza, La Vibra, Solo Dinero, Siempre Auto, Bien Bonita, Estar Mejor and No Muy Caro, which collectively have more than 35 million monthly users worldwide. La Raza Chicago’s Director, General Manager and Editor in Chief is Jesús Del Toro.

What is one product or innovation that you’re particularly proud of?

We are very proud of our book, “Clamor Chicago: Fight, challenges, and successes of the Latino community facing COVID-19 and other issues,” which is a finalist in the 2021 International Latino Book Awards. The book is a compilation of long-form, in-depth news features made possible thanks to a grant from the Field Foundation of Illinois. The articles included in the book were previously published in La Raza’s print and digital edition and the book is a testament [to] the versatility and quality of our Spanish journalism and of the resilience and ingenuity of the Hispanic community we serve during very harsh times.

How does La Raza Chicago stay connected to your readers? How does your team learn about what content matters to your audiences most?

Del Toro

Our writers are part of the Hispanic community and we see, listen and talk about its issues, opportunities, demands and successes. We learn directly from our community and in that sense we are a messenger of its needs, problems, solutions and possibilities and a bridge to help them to connect themselves and with other communities, institutions and entities. We provide them a voice that is in fact a professional amplification (through the values of journalism) of their collective voices.

How has your approach to journalism changed throughout the years? What have you needed to change to stay successful?

In some ways our journalism is still the same, since we have been focusing on our community and placing its individuals and organizations in the first line, as protagonists, of our content and publications effort for decades. But we are now doing it in a multiplatform way, with a mix of print and digital contents and activities and we are discovering new ways of sustainability that implies closer contact and collaboration with our audiences, with other media outlets and with institutions that, as friends and allies, also work for the common good and for the preservation of a healthy media environment in order to also preserve and increase democracy, justice and freedom.

What is something important to you about serving the Hispanic, Latinx and Spanish-speaking communities?

For us, doing journalism is a way for the empowerment of the Chicago Hispanic community, which has a large component of immigrant and Spanish-speaking people, to defend its identity and rights, to present the challenges that it is facing and also its solutions, successes and sometimes losses, to represent it properly and to tell its story with fairness and integrity, to help them to be an integral part of the American society and to exercise the values of democracy and freedom. The preservation and improvement of the Spanish language is also key for La Raza.

La Raza Chicago is participating in the new cohort of the LMA Lab for Journalism Funding. Why is this participation important to you?

We have had good success with grant writing and received several grants from important local and corporate foundations, and we have participated in programs, such as the Facebook Sustainability Accelerator, that improved our skills and motivation. We want to build on those learnings and successes in order to do the next step in our effort to be sustainable and to preserve, enhance and increase the journalism we offer to inform and empower our community. We believe our participation in the LMA Lab for Journalism Funding is a path to do that.

Pulso • Digital news

Pulso is a digital nonprofit media start-up that serves the Latino community. Pulso’s articles focus on news, history, and culture written “by Latinos, for Latinos.” Pulso has a growing subscriber base of more than two million Hispanic and Latinx people across the U.S. Its mission is to “increase the political power of the projected 32 million Hispanic voters by delivering content via Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Twitter, The Pulso Podcast, and other digital platforms.” Pulso’s Founder and Executive Director is Liz Rebecca Alarcón.

What is one product or innovation that you’re particularly proud of?

Pulso uses Facebook Messenger to connect Latinos with our content. When you think of Facebook Messenger, you usually think of a medium to talk with your family and friends. We’ve adopted the platform as a way to make those same deep digital relationships with our audience. Through our innovative messenger service we personalize our content to reach more than a million Latinos as if we were speaking to just one person, and we not only share news, history and culture content about our community, but help our audience take action through petitions, voter registration and get out the vote drives.

How does Pulso stay connected to its readers? How does your team learn about what content matters to your audiences most?

We do what we call “constituent discovery” often across our channels. Every couple of months, we sit back and ask ourselves, “what have we been doing for a while that we should interrogate if it’s still of value to our audiences?” Based on that premise, we create short, five-minute surveys asking those questions about the issues that matter most to our audience, the content they most want to consume, and the services that we could provide that would make their lives better.


How has your approach to journalism changed throughout the years? What have you needed to change to stay successful?

After the intense 2020 news cycle, I thought long and hard about what I wanted our newsroom to stand for. I knew I didn’t want us to contribute to the toxicity that the 24-hour news cycle breeds. Based on those reflections, I presented a new vision for our news team based on three pillars: Movement, Solutions and Explanatory Journalism. These frameworks serve as a moral compass for Pulso in the post-2020 world. They help us do journalism that serves our audience by giving them context, solutions, and sharing voices from the ground on the issues they care about.

What is something important to you about serving Hispanic, Latinx and Spanish-speaking communities?

Mainstream media mainly covers my community to share negative stereotypes or to focus on immigration. What Pulso provides is news, history and culture content that shares our contributions to this country, instills pride in our heritage and helps give us power and agency to craft a better future for ourselves in the United States. Every issue and topic is a Latino issue, and we share it for us, by us, to serve us.

Tell us about Pulso’s approach to connecting with audiences via social media, such as Tik Tok for branded content?

Pulso is a nonprofit media start-up that publishes our content entirely on social media. You can find our news, history and culture stories on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, YouTube and #ThePulsoPodcast. We do this to reach our audience where they’re spending most of their time, and that’s on these platforms. This pushes us to package our content for what works best on the platform, and that way we connect with our audiences authentically in the ways they like to consume media.

El Clasificado • Digital and print classifieds is a free classifieds website that was created in 1996 by Martha de la Torre and Joe Badame to serve the Spanish-speaking community in California. Today provides its services throughout the U.S., including 36 Latino regions in Southern California including Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties; Miami and Orlando, Florida; the New York and New Jersey regions; the Houston and Dallas Metros in Texas; the Chicago, Illinois suburbs; Atlanta and the Sandy Springs metro in Georgia, and Washington D.C., including the Arlington Metro in the Virginia-Maryland region. Its numerous online marketplaces and content sites including,,,, and draw monthly audiences of 7.5 million and more. El Clasificado’s senior manager of digital operations is Stephen Amendt.

What product or innovation are you particularly proud of?

El Clasificado, dba EC Hispanic Media, discovered early on that helping small Latino advertisers with small budgets grow their business [helps to] build trust and loyalty. Through El Clasificado’s affordable advertising solutions using print, [digital], and social channels, customers have continued to experience effective results with the comfort of being served in their own language and culture. Fortunately, after some challenging start-up years, the fruits of these efforts showed that a business can make “millions from pennies” when loyalty and trust go both ways between El Clasificado and its valued core customers, “the little guys.”

De La Torre

El Clasificado’s most valuable product and innovation is run by its digital agency Twyzle provides SEO-optimized websites, directory listings, call tracking, analytics dashboards, Google My Business, pay-per-click, programmatic advertising, and a [customer relationship management] system for advertisers with PPC budgets as little as $20 a week. This is the foundation of the Mas Clientes digital and print advertising agency that was built for “the little guys” that other agencies won’t touch because their budgets are less than $500 per month. The Mas Clientes agency offers campaigns as small as $49 a week and can handle large customers with budgets in the thousands that target Latino audiences.

The Twzyle platform is the backbone of the Mas Clientes agency that handles over 2,500 campaigns per week and generates over $120,000 in weekly digital sales with less than 30% representing PPC.

We [also] recently launched the beta version of with a focus on cars under $15,000 to help our blue-collar workers get to their jobs through and Additionally, we’ve launched which provides houses, apartments and more for sale or rent with local search results. We’ve also developed a solution for our small Hispanic-owned restaurants to accept orders online without requiring a percentage of the sale that many of the other large corporations currently employ.

Our success has always been based on helping out our communities and the businesses there to increase job growth. These initiatives have not only continued to help us increase that effort, but to also help our own continued revenue increases as over 60% of our revenues now come from digital products.

How does El Clasificado stay connected to its readers? How does your team learn about what content matters to your audiences most?

Prior to the pandemic, El Clasificado was well connected with our readers and audience where we’d receive live feedback at events, including the twice-annual Su Socio de Negocios expos with 400-600 small business owners and quinceanera expos with 1,500-2,000 attendees up to six times a year. While we’re looking forward to hosting those events again in the future, with shutdowns in Los Angeles, we had to remain nimble to ensure we still were in touch with our audience.

During the pandemic, El Clasificado launched virtual job fairs, virtual small business and marketing webinars and a virtual fashion show event to keep our expo audiences and marketplaces alive. Through these virtual events, we were able to connect with audiences to help them find jobs, navigate their businesses through the pandemic and figure out how to have a Quince party during a pandemic. We also helped our digitally challenged Spanish-speaking audiences learn how to use Zoom and digital tools through e-books leading up to these virtual events.

Additionally, through surveys and contests, we were able to question readers and email subscribers directly on which issues impacted them most, leading to supplements, e-books, and more, which not only provided additional revenue from advertisers expanding their budgets, but also timely content.

Knowing as well that communities can vary from city to city — and even ZIP code to ZIP code based on the hyperlocal zone targeting employed by the weekly shopper — the company also utilized its PPP loan to help employees stay connected with readers and visitors by creating new, local Facebook pages across the United States in areas such as Los Angeles, Miami, and more.


These pages, as well as our insights from Google Analytics and more, has also helped us further expand our footprint into areas outside the print network, as we’ve been able to identify areas where our virtual job fairs are most-needed so that applicants can meet with employers looking to hire local Latinos.

How has your approach to journalism changed throughout the years? What have you needed to change to stay successful?

When El Clasificado first began distribution, CEO Martha de la Torre had her mom in mind. She wanted to provide Hispanic communities with content and resources that would have helped her mother and other Latinos with information that could even be read on crowded bus trips.

While much of this approach still remains the same today with recipes, horoscopes, as well as health and immigration-related content being included in the 350,000 copies of El Clasificado distributed weekly, with changes in technology and current events, El Clasificado also adjusted their approach to ensure that the weekly publication was accessible online so that any articles or ads could be read from any device, including smartphones.

And, over the past year after speaking with our readers, this often meant special print supplements and e-books related to the spread of COVID-19, concerns about career opportunities following furloughs and layoffs, and planning for the holidays on a budget. Knowing this, we decided to not just distribute special supplements within our print zones, but also provide digital content through e-books that were distributed through our email subscribers, local Facebook groups, and more, to ensure that we were able to help empower our audience both online and in print.

What is something important to you about serving Hispanic, Latinx and Spanish-speaking communities?

Having grown up as the daughter of Ecuadorian immigrants, Martha’s own personal experience led her to [realize] that even with dedicated, driven, and strong parents who found success in the United States, that resources were limited which could have made their success easier to achieve, and which could have also helped them adapt to life in a new country.

[With] this knowledge in mind, Martha started El Clasificado with the same mission statement that exists today of “helping Spanish-speaking and Hispanic communities thrive while connecting buyers and sellers, employers and job seekers, property managers and renters, and more,” that otherwise weren’t readily available in their language or which generally came at costs — not just to the advertisers, but also the audience.

Additionally, this has also led to partnerships with organizations like the Los Angeles Economic Development Center (LAEDC), which was having trouble connecting with the blue-collar Latino audience that El Clasificado served. Not only was the nonprofit aligned with CEO Martha de la Torre’s mission of empowering Hispanic communities in Los Angeles, but their content and El Clasificado’s reach was able to help the LAEDC recognize their goals for underserved Latino communities.

Tell me about El Clasificado’s approach to branded content and how it helps to build brand awareness and loyalty.

Our audience is always the most important factor. When it comes to building branded content, we look to what our audience is most interested in reading and learning, which has led to two of our most successful supplements around the World Cup and Juntos, El Clasificado’s legal special supplement, which provided information regarding immigration options for Angelinos looking to help their families migrate legally to the United States.

Distributed alongside El Clasificado in our drop racks across Los Angeles, these supplements also include guest articles overseen by our editorial team to ensure that we were able to cover the content that was most important to our readers, and also included additional branding for the company’s eight proprietary websites to ensure that not only could the guest writers gain more clients, but also that other clients could also receive more exposure, even if they were in different verticals.

Responses were edited for length and style.