The crisis of COVID-19 has reached every corner of our community, state, nation and world. In an effort to reach all of Habersham County with important local news The Northeast Georgian published and distributed an EXTRA edition in Spanish Friday, May 15.
“Recognizing a need to report relevant and timely information related to COVID-19 to Habersham’s Hispanic population, regional publisher Alan NeSmith gathered his team of bilingual reporters to begin gathering resources and writing stories,” said Mary Beth Horton, President of The Habersham Chamber of Commerce. “Kudos, to you, The Northeast Georgian, for keeping our beloved Spanish population in the story.”
As Gov. Brian Kemp was in Hall County visiting a COVID-19 testing site Friday, a Fieldale Plant and Northeast Georgia Health Systems, copies of the extra Spanish edition were delivered.
The testing event in Hall County was hosted by the Task Force Against COVID-19 in Gainesville.
“I believe that having a newspaper printed in Spanish is important. The newspaper is the bridge that unites the community as a whole. It demonstrate that we are all important and that we Latinos have a voice,” said President of Task Force Against COVID-19 Norma Hernandez. Hernandez was appointed to this position by Georgia Insurance Commissioner John F. King, in an effort to stop the spread in Northeast Georgia by educating one of the most affected segment of the population.
“We’re pleased to be able to support any initiative which enables communities to connect and gather information about where they work, live and play,” said Vanesa Sarazua, Founder and Executive Director of Hispanic Alliance of Georgia. “We’re thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this initiative and look forward to playing a more active role in the lives of our Latinos in Northeast Georgia with services, relief and connection we provide.”
“This EXTRA edition is inclusive of the Spanish speaking community and the important information relayed in the newspaper should be for everyone, including people with a language barrier,” said A.J. Garcia, owner of Costa de Jalisco in Baldwin who has lived in Habersham County for 20 years and is a local graduate. “Hispanics account for roughly 30 percent of the overall population and we are a major labor force for the greater majority of manufacturing/food processing jobs in the county. It’s a great place to do business, but it’s time the Hispanic population is given a voice, and I think the Spanish edition of The Northeast Georgian is a great place to start.”
The Northeast Georgian printed and distributed 3,000 copies of the EXTRA edition in Habersham, Hall and Rabun counties. The EXTRA edition, which was free of charge, is also available in front of the paywall to read in its entirety at thenortheastgeorgian.com.
Georgia Power was an advertising partner in the EXTRA edition. “As we continue to navigate through this unprecedented time with the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m sure that we have all seen or heard the phrase ‘Together, we can get through this’, said Georgia Power Area Manager Brent Edwards. “I saw those words put into action recently when our local newspaper, The Northeast Georgian, printed and distributed a Spanish edition newspaper to our Hispanic communities. Alan NeSmith and his staff truly demonstrate a spirit of unity and are always quick to step up to the plate when a need in our community arises. I have really enjoyed being a part of this initiative and we are excited for the opportunity to partner with The Northeast Georgian in an effort to assist the Hispanic community and to let them know how much they are valued. As ‘A Citizen Wherever We Serve’, Georgia Power embraces a culture that supports its communities and promotes diversity and inclusion by actively caring about each other.”
“The Northeast Georgian and the great community of Habersham County are giving the Hispanic community an opportunity to being part of it,” said Pastor Samuel Negron. “This will give us an opportunity to work together. The Hispanic community is, and always will be a hard-working group of people, but sometimes we lack the information we need in our day to day lives because we don’t have the proper means of communication available. Having this Hispanic newspaper will provide those means of communication that are so desperately needed, especially during these trying times. Together we make up this great community and together we will stand strong.”
“Our mission states, ‘We believe that strong newspapers build strong communities Newspapers get things done!’ In this current crisis, we want to reach all of our community and surrounding area to help fight this deadly virus,” NeSmith said. “I’m very proud of our team, especially Daniela Cintron, who really stepped up to publish this EXTRA edition. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, young or a senior, or what national descent you’re from, COVID-19 impacts us all. For our community to shed the grip of this deadly virus, we must all work together.”
The Northeast Georgian will publish another EXTRA edition in Spanish on May 29.