Mario DelaRosa is the former editor of the now defunct Hispanic newspaper Ahora. Now, he’ll serve as editor and publisher of Ahora Journal, a new newspaper he and partner AnnaMaria Vega have started for Reno’s Latino community. It debuts Sept. 1. For more information, call DelaRosa at 378-7025.
Tell me about your background with Ahora.
I worked 10 years for Ahora newspaper. First I was a translator, then a reporter, and I started writing articles, interviews, and then I became the editor.
And it’s no longer published.
The economic crises, we couldn’t get more advertisers, and we started accumulating debt. So there was a moment when the newspaper couldn’t go on, and the owner decided to close. That was May of last year.
What have been doing since?
I was unemployed for like six months, and I started working for PLAN [Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada] as a community organizer, and I won’t leave my job now. The newspaper is just starting and not giving me any profit yet. I am teaching a class at UNR—philosophy. I’ll be teaching Latin America philosophy, and it’s the first time that’s every happened at UNR. So there’s a challenge for me. I have a masters in philosophy from UNR, so I know the class and faculty there.
Why did you decide to start Ahora Journal?
Talking with friends and seeing other people, they often said to us, ‘Why don’t you open your own newspaper? We need Ahora newspaper. We need to read when something is wrong. We need good news and information.’ So we decided to open a new newspaper, and we know there’s a huge need in the community for information. There are so many political and social issues that are not being addressed by the Spanish newspapers, and we think we can cover that and do it in a professional way.
When you say “we” you’re talking about AnnaMaria Vega. Is your staff just the two of you?
Yes, we are doing the writing, and sales, the layout and graphic design. Basically everything. We know the market is kind of scary now, but we can do it. This is a nice challenge.
What are you bringing to Ahora Journal?
When I was doing Ahora, I was doing everything—sales; I was the only writer for a while; I was photographer, translator and graphic designer. So I’m kind of used to it.
What can readers expect?
September 1 is the first issue. Readers can expect a serious newspaper with investigated news articles. When I was in Ahora, my newspaper was considered a serious newspaper, a professional newspaper, and that’s the same thing we want to deliver—quality, information that’s going to be important for the Latino community.
How often will it come out, and where?
It’s going to be published twice a month. You’re going to find it in Latino stores, Mexican restaurants, public places like libraries, City Hall. We are going to cover Carson City, Minden, Gardnerville, North Lake Tahoe, including Truckee and Kings Beach.
What Latino issues aren’t being addressed by the media?
They don’t do too much politics. And now we’re in an election year, and the community needs to know who’s running and who’s supportive and not. We’re going to be informing about that. There are so many things going on about immigration, and some of the media are informing, but so many are blind to what’s going on. There are other issues like health care, and our community historically has had less access to good health care, and nobody is talking about that, that there’s a problem. Also in education, the state of Nevada is in big trouble about dropouts, and Latinos and African-Americans are doing even worse in this state. … We’ve asked our friends from the community, and everyone says there’s a need for information for the community. We can start a discussion and debate on the issues that are important to us.