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Some good news to share following the end of Chicago’s Spanish language newspaper, HOY.
NAHJ Chicago Board member and former HOY Reporter Laura Rodriguez will be joining the Chicago Tribune newsroom as a Latino Community Journalist.
Tribune Media made the decision to shut down operations on December 13.  The move affected seven employees, including Rodriguez.
The company offered all employees a position through its syndicated Tribune Content Agency. However, the elimination of HOY means a void in Chicago’s Spanish-language community.
“I’m grateful for all the colleagues that I worked with,” said Rodriguez. “They are extremely talented and passionate people who helped to sharpen my pieces and gave me the liberty to cover them with my own vision.”
In an email to staffers, Managing Editor Peter Kendall said Rodriguez will bolster their coverage of Chicagoland’s Latino community.
“Laura has spent the last four years finding important stories to tell about that community, often focusing on Pilsen and Little Village,” said Kendall.  “We have asked her to continue to find those kinds of stories there and across the region, knowing they will resonate with Tribune readers.”
He also said the Tribune is exploring ways of doing some of those stories in both English and Spanish.
Rodriguez says she will work to make sure the Legacy of HOY lives on through her stories.
“I’m hoping to work to ensure that we continue to have a space and a voice here,” Rodriguez wrote on her Instagram page.  “It’s an opportunity to elevate those stories to reach a broader audience and build representation within such a Chicago institution.

Rodriguez studied Journalism at De Paul University, had a minor in Spanish, and graduated with a concentration in Latino media.
Rodriguez was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and moved to Chicago when she was in third grade.  She now lives in Pilsen.
Read Peter Kendall’s full letter here: 

Colleagues,

 

We are happy to announce that Hoy reporter Laura Rodriguez joined the Tribune newsroom this morning to bolster our coverage of Chicagoland’s Latino community.

 

Laura has spent the last four years finding important stories to tell about that community, often focusing on Pilsen and Little Village. We have asked her to continue to find those kinds of stories there and across the region, knowing they will resonate with Tribune readers. We are eager to explore the possibility of doing some of those stories in Spanish as well as English.

 

This newsroom has had a number of opportunities to work with Laura over the years, seeing her passion and expertise up close. Just last week we worked with her on a story about the pilgrimage to the Des Plaines shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe, which ran on page one of Wednesday’s print edition. In the past, we worked with her on coverage of the viral video of the family sleeping on the Blue Line, and she helped us with the Spanish version of our in-depth exploration of the killing of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez. 

 

Laura studied Journalism at De Paul University, had a minor in Spanish, and graduated with a concentration in Latino media. She serves on the board of the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

 

Laura was born in Mexico and moved to Chicago when she was in third grade. She now lives in Pilsen.

 

Her bio notes: “Laura is a mariachi fanatic and a country music lover. She writes more than she cooks and enjoys a glass of rosé most Thursdays evenings.”

 

Laura will spend time working with different teams in the newsroom to get on board. Please welcome her.

 

Peter 

 

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