Her title belies her multifaceted role in bringing news to the Latino communities of Carroll, Denison, Storm Lake, Spencer, Humboldt, Fort Dodge, and Perry.
She’s reporter, investigator, photographer, and advertising salesperson. As she loads tied bundles of the biweekly into the trunk of her Ford Taurus, it’s apparent that she’s also the distribution system.
“I could hire a delivery service,” says Lopez, whose accent hints of her Nicaraguan heritage, “but I get a lot of local news just talking to people as I drop off papers.”
This, she explains, is called “hunting.”
“I don’t make appointments,” she says with an impish grin. “I just show up and see what I can find out.”
A swing past the Crawford County Hospital yields an update on a job opening and news of an upcoming blood drive. At the Norelius Community Library Lopez learns about a bilingual summer reading program for kids.
Yankey Travel is targeting Latinos planning summer excursions, and Lopez’s stop at the Denison storefront turns into a successful ad pitch.
The pace is brisk, the conversations spontaneous, the search nonstop. Lopez, who was a journalist and TV reporter in her native country, has high ambitions for La Prensa.
“I want to provide a voice for the Latino community,” she says of the newspaper she and her oldest son founded six years ago.
“Latinos have strong family ties and want news about social and sports events. They want to know when a new Latino business has opened or a Latino student has won an award. La Prensa gives them that news.”
The immigrant community is also very interested in health, employment, and immigration issues, she says.
“When you’re not bilingual, it can be hard to know where to go or whom to ask.
A multifaceted role keeps Lorena Lopez on the move throughout north central Iowa (above), connecting readers with their community in the pages of La Prensa. Delivering the biweekly herself provides opportunities to network and engage.
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