Councilman Carlos Menchaca, standing with NYC Central Labor Council President Vincent Alvarez and Former El Diario worker Manuel Avendano at a press conference in January on the NYC Hall steps just before a city council hearing on El Diario. Photo courtesy of the News Guild of New York.

A Reporter’s Worst Fear 

It was just a regular day for Gloria Medina, former reporter at El Diario La Prensa, a newspaper considered to be the oldest Spanish-speaking daily in New York. Medina, at the time, had felt proud to work at a paper with such distinction, as did her fellow reporters.

El Diario was family, Medina said. And when working for a paper for such a long time you begin to feel that you are a part of the paper itself.

Her voice cracked for a moment as she remembered the day that she was laid off from her job of 16 years. The first job she held in journalism.

“We were laid off on June 13, 2013,” Medina said. “Almost three years ago, it seems like it was yesterday.”

El Diario was founded in 1913 as a weekly under the name La Prensa in Lower Manhattan, and in 1963, merged with El Diario de Nueva York El Diario La Prensa, according to impreMedia, the paper’s current publisher.

The paper’s audience has transitioned over the years, not only serving its New York Latino population but according to the Huffington Post, its Dominican, South American and Mexican immigrants as well.

But like many print publications throughout the country that are struggling to keep afloat in the digital age, El Diario has fallen on hard times. ImpreMedia describes their product now as “a state-of-the-art multimedia operation that includes print, digital, and other platforms.”

June 13th was a Friday and Medina had the day off. When the Metro Editor called her in for a last-minute meeting, Medina wondered what it was she had done.

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Dominique “Peak” Johnson is a North Philadelphia journalists and blogger. He is one of the founding editors and writers of the North Philly Metropolis, blogger for The Huffington Post, and staff writer for Al DÍA News. Click here to learn more about Peak.