Update Feb. 13, 2021: Redwood News announced that they would begin running Spanish news segments every Tuesday as of Feb. 9, 2021. More information coming soon.
The lack of Spanish information in Humboldt County has become apparent once again, this time in the wake of a global pandemic. In September of last year Dr. Teresa Francovich, the former health officer for Humboldt County, spoke about Humboldt County’s Spanish information shortfall at a virtual Spanish town hall meeting.
The attempts to stop the spread of this virus have resulted in massive public outreach to English speakers, but Spanish speakers are being left out of the loop when it comes to public information and conversation directly affecting the Latinx community.
Currently, the U.S. Census has the Latinx community in Humboldt county at 12.1%. The Latinx community makes up 27.29% of Humboldt’s COVID-19 cases as reported by the Department of Health and Human Services as of Jan. 28, 2021.
So, during these uncertain times, where can Spanish speakers get their information in Humboldt County?
In recent months the Redwood News (KIEM) in Eureka has been posting articles in Spanish on their social media as well as providing Spanish video segments of local news. Brenda Rodriguez, a reporter for the Redwood News is curating these Spanish broadcasts with the help of fellow reporter, Hector Mendoza.
“I try to have a Spanish story at least once or twice a week but since December it’s probably once a week that these stories appear on our website and our Facebook,” Mendoza said, via email.
While the Spanish articles are infrequent, Redwood news is working on making Spanish broadcasts a more regular occurrence with more information to come.
“We are still working with the station to produce Spanish broadcast on a regular basis, which is still pending approval,” said Rodriguez.
Both KMUD and KZZH translate news into Spanish weekly and Mathew Knight, the station manager for KZZH is currently working on a community calendar en Español for future inclusive access to information.
KZZH (96.7 FM) airs Radio Centro by Brenda Perez with Centro Del Pueblo on Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m., an archive version of this show airs on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 a.m.
Centro del Pueblo is a grassroots group that supports the immigrant and Latinx community of Humboldt County. They provide relevant information to Humboldt County’s immigrant community on the radio as well as through printed material, social media and their website.
KMUD (91.1 FM) airs Latino America Sonando, featuring the latest in music from Latin America every Friday at 1 p.m.
Radio Bilingüe (103.3 and 89.7 FM) is a national radio network that airs 24 hours a day.
As of now, El Leñador is the only bilingual newspaper in Humboldt County that provides original local news stories in Spanish and English. The newspaper is published monthly during the school year and is distributed throughout the county, especially to locations that serve the Latinx communities, like markets, community centers and businesses. Spanish stories are also published on its website ElLenadornews.com.
“We try our best to put out content that’s valuable to the Spanish speaking community because Spanish content is very scarce in Humboldt and especially now, it’s critical to be able to be informed,” said Nancy Garcia, one of El Leñador’s co-EIC’s who has previously covered the lack of Spanish media in Humboldt County.
This new social environment created by the pandemic has made the need for multilingual communication for the public clear.
Graphic by Emily McCollum