Latino Communities Reporting Lab (Reportajes de la Comunidad Latina)


In March 2021, the Record-Journal, a 155-year-old 5th generation family-owned media company in central Connecticut, launched our Latino Communities Reporting Lab (Reportajes de la Comunidad Latina), a long-term, community-powered initiative.

During the 5-month listening tour leading up to the Lab’s launch, local Latino communities told us they want their voices heard, their success stories told to inspire young people, their inequities brought to light, and more local, fact-based news in both English and Spanish that they can trust.
Community members also stressed the importance of journalists who represent their communities, so they feel more comfortable interacting and engaging with members of the media. The Lab’s mission is to amplify the voices of our local Latino communities.

The Lab is a community-powered which makes it easy for readers to tell us what they want to know about the people, places and issues in our community. Reporting is reflective of the needs of the community based on the feedback we received through community listening.

The Lab’s weekly Spanish language news video Miércoles Latinos is an example of multimedia content designed to meet audiences where they are. Also, our digital initiative, “VOICES, Community Powered Journalism,” promotes increased listening and engagement. We solicit questions and publish answers in both English and Spanish using Instagram stories, Facebook groups, email newsletters, QR codes on posters in grocery stores, libraries, and schools. Reporters also encourage sources and people in the community to interact with them, and invite them to share story ideas and feedback which helps shape our news coverage.

In early 2022, we embarked on a 12-month in-depth community, engagement and data gathering project called “Record-Journal Latino Communities Listening Playbook for Actionable News Strategies” with funding from Google News Initiative’s 2021 Innovation Challenge. Through deeper community listening, engagement and data gathering with our local Latino communities, the Lab will produce more inclusive reporting that represents the diverse communities we serve, help us tell untold stories, and share different perspectives because of what we learn.