Documented Semanal: An Interactive WhatsApp Channel for New York’s Spanish-Speaking Immigrant Community


Documented was launched in 2018 by Mazin Sidahmed and Max Siegelbaum to address the lack of immigration reporting in the New York area, home to over 3 million immigrants. We publish news that connects directly to a local immigrant audience in order to get important information and reporting to the people who need it most.

In 2019, Documented launched Semanal, a Spanish-language WhatsApp news service that has exploded in the last year, serving over 1,700 Spanish-speaking immigrant New Yorkers. They use our journalism to navigate housing and pandemic relief benefits, debunk misinformation on the coronavirus, among other things. They also serve as sources and send tips to the Documented newsroom to be investigated and published as either journalism or as original resource guides.

Semanal has become a crucial source of information and reporting for Spanish-speaking immigrants over the past year. Our audience more than doubled from 800 to more than 1,700 highly engaged readers, many of whom are low-income. We have published eight investigations — including an article debunking dangerous misinformation scams, an expose on access for $20 million grant to provide cash relief for undocumented New Yorkers, and a look into appointment delays at Latin American consulates. Finally, we have published a comprehensive 16-section bilingual pandemic resource guide that we constantly keep updated in response to requests from the community. Our efforts have been recognized by the City of New York, who has recommended our work to the immigrant community as a way to navigate pandemic resources.