Here’s to the Next 40 Years

This Thursday, December 1st, marked the 40th Anniversary of La Prensa San Diego. Without a break in the weekly publication, this issue is number 2,088. DSC_0372
The past 40 years have seen dramatic changes in the Latino community of San Diego and beyond. When this newspaper was started, Latinos were a small part of the economic and political landscape of our community. La Prensa was the first media outlet in San Diego for and by Latinos.
Today, our community has prospered into a dominate force in local business, politics, and media. Latinos serve in federal, state, and local office, and thousands of businesses are owned by Latinos. Spanish language TV stations, radio stations, and several media outlets in print and online provide compelling content and insight into our community across a broad spectrum of platforms.
And, of course, the way people receive their news and information has changed immensely.  No one in 1976 imagined Facebook, Twitter, websites, and smartphones.
So, as we enter the fifth decade for La Prensa San Diego, we honor our past, but have our sights set on the future.
Many in the media argue that newspapers are a dying medium, with many venerable newspapers having already fallen into bankruptcy and into extinction. Large daily papers continue to merge, evolve, and digitize to survive in the new e-version of our world.
But local community newspapers continue to thrive.
Across the country, more than 7,000 non-daily newspapers reach an audience of more than 150 million readers.  Nearly all of those compete directly with larger daily papers, or are owned by media groups with daily papers. Around the country, large media companies have purchased local non-dailies in hopes of sharing audiences and advertising revenues.
The San Diego Union-Tribune has purchased nine local papers and merged them into a new media group, and also purchased then immediately closed down the North County Times.
Consolidation has been the trend among general circulation newspapers in order to survive and large corporate ownership now drives the news coverage.
La Prensa San Diego, as the only bilingual Latino publication in San Diego County, will remain independent and focused on providing unbiased, in-depth coverage of issues affecting our community, locally, nationally, and abroad.
Last year saw the first ownership change in the long history of La Prensa, and with it, came a new layout design, enhanced content, and expanded outreach.
In the past year, La Prensa has increased circulation throughout the county, from San Ysidro to Oceanside, from Escondido to downtown. This year, we moved our headquarters to the heart of Barrio Logan to be more connected to the pulse of the community.
We’ve expanded our Facebook and Twitter presence to deliver up-to-the-minute breaking news updates and timely information.
Our website, which features a full digital version of the weekly print paper, also offers exclusive online-only stories not found in print.
And we’ve added new reporters and staff to our team to expand our coverage and perspectives.
Next month, we will unveil our new website, with interactive social media features, video news clips, and archives of past stories. And our upcoming phone app will connect with our audience in new and exciting ways.
Our commitment to remain a free community newspaper will continue to rely on the support of our advertising partners. This year, we added Walmart, Wells Fargo, Cox Communications, and Metro PCS as year-round sponsors to help support our expanded distribution.We will continue to offer more advertising opportunities to companies and organizations that believe in our mission of keeping our community informed and engaged.
During the past year, La Prensa also became more involved in sponsoring local organizations that serve our community, including the Chicano Federation, Border Angels, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Chula Vista Police Activities League, and other non-profits throughout the county. We value the important contributions these organizations make to improve the lives of deserving families in San Diego.
Serving a community through a media outlet is an honor and a responsibility. We appreciate readers take the time to read our content, and we strive to provide them with content worthy of their time. We’re humbled that so many San Diegans continue to rely on La Prensa to deliver compelling and useful information.
Forty years is a long time to keep a publication relevant in a community, but it will be even more work to thrive in the ever-evolving world of increasing content and expanding outlets.
La Prensa is committed to the work ahead, and, regardless of the changing technology, our vision and mission won’t change: Community empowerment and betterment, for us all.
Here’s to another 40 years, and to a brighter future for all our families.
Thank you for your loyal viewership.

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