Editorial: Northern Iowan revives the Spanish column

Editorial: Northern Iowan revives the Spanish column

Nixson Benitez, Executive Editor

Today the Spanish column is making a return to the physical print of the Northern Iowan. After having our Spanish column absent for a period through the spring semester – our editorial team is glad to bring the column back in our physical issue. Northern Iowan en Español was initiated and founded by our 2022-2023 Executive Editor Nixson Benitez.

Benitez initiated the first piece, and other founders came in to support as well. The first founder we would like to recognize is former Spanish Editor Mario Mendez Aguilar. Mendez tested out new systems to recognize what works best for the newsroom and worked in bringing forward a stable system before his graduation. Our next founder is former News Editor Elizabeth Kelsey. Kelsey was the key editor in which Benitez and Mendez would report content during the first pilot of the Spanish column. Kelsey’s organization and flexibility allowed our first pilot to be extremely successful. Our final founder is our current Spanish Editor Mayra Villanueva. Villanueva took the lead with Benitez in documenting the systemic structure of the Spanish column. Villanueva brought her expertise and background to the test and helped develop the Spanish guidebook.

This summer, our team had the chance to travel to Minneapolis and got trained in navigating a variety of subjects in the editorial newsroom – including building trust. As a result of our attendance, we came forward in wanting to use what we learned and putting it into action. Despite receiving pushback and praise alike, to celebrate its return, we will be releasing the first ever official Spanish guidebook. This guidebook carries the experiences and system of our Spanish column, including why it is extremely important to have one. The purpose of releasing this guidebook is to promote access and equity in newspapers across Iowa. Our newsroom is not the only Spanish column to ever exist in the U.S., but it is the only one in higher education in the state of Iowa. We hope exposing our system to other universities or even local high school newspapers can help them find inspiration in creating their own Spanish column or newsletter. This guidebook carries the legacy of Benitez, Mendez, Kelsey and Villanueva in their efforts to bring Spanish content to the level of higher education. We also hope to build trust with our readers and inform the community of how our newsroom works. We are an independent newspaper and everything we do is part of our learning experience. If any of our readers enjoy the work the Northern Iowan does, it is recommended that you email us and encourage those stories and feedback. The Northern Iowan editorial team will always have an ear on the ground. Our team hopes that this opportunity allows our readers to get to know the Northern Iowan a little more.

We appreciate you trusting us in being the campus paper, and we look forward to continuing our mission. Please scan the code for access to the Spanish guidebook.