Barriozona

More from this show

Barriozona is a publication with information on issues affecting Latinos in the United States. Eduardo Barraza, editor of Barriozona, talks about the online magazine.

Jose Cardenas:
"Barriozona" was originally started as a bilingual publication in 2002. Six years later it went to an online format to reach a global audience. The focus of Barriozona is to the reach different Latinos in the United States. Joining me to talk about the publication is Eduardo Barraza, editor for the magazine. Welcome to "Horizonte."

Eduardo Barraza:
Thank you very much.

Jose Cardenas:
Let's talk a little about how this got started, which is as I understand it an outreach of the Hispanic group issues.

Eduardo Barraza:
We had the idea of presenting it in a different way, and the idea was to keep people more opportunities to express their voices. So we had these experience of working in newspapers and magazines for many years, and what I didn't see sometime was the people being able to express in a way in which they can really make their points. So the idea was to keep people that -- give people that space, and that's how the concept of "Barriozona" began.

Jose Cardenas:
And the institute that it grew out of, does that still exist?

Eduardo Barraza:
Absolutely. The Hispanic institute was founded in 1998, and that was basically to inform and educate people. We began with a newsletter, which was to teach people traffic laws when there were changes in the traffic laws, we saw a need to educate people, and even translate some of the laws into Spanish for people to be able to learn them.

Jose Cardenas:
And speaking of learn can, you learned your trade, your craft in Mexico City as a journalist back in the '80s.

Eduardo Barraza:
That's correct. It was really nice opportunity for me because Mexico City is a really big city, and you really see their things unfolding on the streets in many different marches, the teachers, the students, so Mexico City has such a tradition of mainly -- many different social issues. So for me it was a good preparation as a photographer, and writer, to be able to develop my skills there.

Jose Cardenas:
What's the significance of the name "Barriozona"?

Eduardo Barraza:
"Barriozona" is a combination of two words. Barrio, which means neighborhoods or communities, and zona, meaning Arizona. So "Barriozona," giving voice to the people from the communities and the barrios in Arizona. That's basically what the word "Barriozona" means.

Jose Cardenas:
And it starts out as a printed publication, and now you're just online. Why is that?

Eduardo Barraza:
We printed "Barriozona" since 2002 until 2005. It was a bimonthly publication. And it was very successful. People really liked it. Unfortunately because it was not a commercial oriented magazine, we always had trouble funding it for the printing and distribution. So at one point not only did the economic issues involved, but also the idea of expanding the vision worldwide basically in a global way led us to publish "Barriozona" online, and we started doing that in 2005. So it was a nice way of saying that we're going green, but also not only because the idea was to save paper, but also to expand it. And now we have readers in many countries, Latin America and Europe.

Jose Cardenas:
In terms of your local readership, what distinguishes "Barriozona" from public other publications that have a pretty good following of their own?

Eduardo Barraza:
One of the trends that you see in journalist in the last years is multimedia. The power of multimedia being available to readers. We are very multimedia oriented, so readers are attractive because they see something that they don't see necessarily in many other publications. Of course they see the online publication, they see print publications, they see the multimedia, but they -- the angle we give by presenting people's voices and presenting people's opinions totally from -- saying we're going to publish these or we're not going to publish, or we're going to make a little mission about it. That's very strong. So that's -- in a way it's not totally different, because in essence it's journalism, it's informing the people, but "Barriozona" is grass-roots. It's from the bottom up. So instead of having political opinion by journalists or editorials, we let the people basically say their own stories. So that's the differences, I would say.

Jose Cardenas:
You are accused by people on both sides of the political divide of being biased in favor of both groups. Or against.

Eduardo Barraza:
Well, you know I think that journalists, even if its grass-roots level, needs to maintain its tenet. And you can be blind to one side and not to the other because then you are being biased. And if you're doing -- biased. If you're doing journalism, you need to allow different voices. And of course the -- you are Latino, an immigrant, you're talking about our issues. Why you interview these people that are --

Jose Cardenas:
So you, for example, are criticized by Latino activists for giving a voice to people like Arpaio, and Arpaio supporters criticize you for what they view as negative coverage of the sheriff.

Eduardo Barraza:
Exactly. And see, the thing S. you need to tap into the community. But the you cannot be -- you cannot be ignoring other voices because you're presenting a testimony to call it that that is not necessarily accurate. You're just giving -- the thing is you're not doing propaganda. You are not saying I'm going to promote this side because this is my side. No, you are there, you are a reporter. You are a witness; you are a person that is there to give a report. So if you see a voice screaming against your own ideals, you still record it and you still present it, whether it's what you believe or not. So the criticism comes from both sides because on one side they see me as pro immigrant, and on the other side they see me as being exposing or giving the other side too much time or too much coverage.

Jose Cardenas:
We've got your website on the screen. People will be able to go there and make their own decision. Eduardo, thank you very much for joining us on "Horizonte."

Eduardo Barraza:
Thank you. Thank you very much.

Eduardo Barraza:Editor, Barriozona;

Donald Trump arrives in New York ahead of historic arraignment

Justice Department releases Trump indictment

Diners eat outside on an episode of Check, Please! Arizona

Be a guest on “Check, Please! Arizona”

Morse & The Last Endeavour
airs June 11

Morse and The Last Endeavour: A MASTERPIECE Mystery! Special

Super Why characters

Join a Super Why Reading Camp to play, learn and grow

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters

STAY in touch
with azpbs.org!

Subscribe to Arizona PBS Newsletters: