Communicating with modern methods

The San Diego Union-Tribune and Los Angeles Times launch news show to highlight Latino stories

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The San Diego Union-Tribune and the Los Angeles Times — both owned by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong — have joined forces to create a bilingual television and online news program  called “Nuestra Voz Today,” which means “our voice today.”  It covers the growing Latino communities in San Diego, Los Angeles, the California-Mexico border and Southern California.

The program premiered on July 18 on Cox Cable YURVIEW Channel 1004. It regularly airs on the first Sunday of each month on Cox Cable, YouTube and sandiegouniontribune.com/nuestra-voz-today.

The half-hour program presents stories from both outlets in English and Spanish. The Union-Tribune’s Luis Cruz, community and public relations director, and Paola Hernández-Jiao, community relations manager, host the program. In the past, Cruz served as executive director of news and programming for the Times and helped launch “LA Times Today,” the Emmy Award-winning TV news program that highlights and showcases the newspaper’s journalism. Hernández-Jiao joined the Union-Tribune early this year and has a background in television and producing.

Cruz was working at the Times when he came up with the idea for what would become “Nuestra Voz Today.” Around the same time, Jeff Light, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Union-Tribune, offered Cruz the role of community and public relations director at the newspaper. In addition, they wanted to highlight reporting at both newspapers.

“I wanted to create something that both the LA Times and the Union-Tribune reporters would be proud of,” Cruz said. “I have the utmost respect for the reporters we work with, and obviously journalism. So, for me, it’s imperative to showcase the great work that my colleagues do day in and day out.”

“It’s also a great opportunity to reach an audience that perhaps isn’t reading the paper or (visiting) our website,” Hernández-Jiao added.

Cruz and Hernández-Jiao gather ideas about stories to highlight by staying in contact with reporters at both the Union-Tribune and the Times. They also formed a Latino coverage committee that meets weekly and makes suggestions. Additionally, both newspapers have an online section called “Latino Life," which is helpful to keep track of stories that they may want to cover, Cruz said.

The hosts try to have a balance of both soft and hard news in the program. For example, the first episode covered sports, art, LGBTQ+ rights and more.

In the future, Cruz and Hernández-Jiao will interview reporters from both newspapers so viewers can meet the journalists writing stories and get a behind-the-scenes look at how news is put together at the Times and the Union-Tribune.

Light said that the program was part of the organization’s work as “a multi-media, multi-lingual company.”

“Our team has done remarkable work across platforms in recent years,” he said. “We have won 33 regional Emmy awards since 2011. But so many people in San Diego still think of us as an old-fashioned newspaper newsroom. ‘Nuestra Voz Today’ is part of our effort to reach people in new ways.”

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