Newspaper discontinues specialty section

In the fall of 2015, El Mensajero Católico was approached by representatives of La Cumbre and the Rochester Hispanic Business Association (later joined by the Ibero-American Action League and Latino Rotary), who asked the paper to partner with them in focusing community discussion on the challenges of — and successes in — economic development within the Hispanic community.

In response, El Mensajero’s staff developed a yearlong pilot project to add to each edition a four-page section called “El Mural de la Comunidad” that would report on various aspects of economic development.

Over the next 38 months, the “yearlong pilot project” provided extensive coverage of entrepreneurship, civic engagement and voting, immigration and employment, health care, education, transportation, taxes and other business-oriented topics of importance to area Latinos.

The heavy emphasis on business reporting fell well outside the paper’s normal mission, but all the partners in the project hoped El Mural would garner enough advertising revenue to justify the section’s additional costs. Unfortunately, however, the section never generated enough revenue to cover even its extra printing expense, nonetheless the significant reporting/editing time and translation.

As a result, the board of directors of El Mensajero’s publishing company voted in mid-December to discontinue El Mural effective at the end of 2018.

We are very proud of the quality coverage we have provided through El Mural over the past three-plus years, and hope it helped to establish a foundation upon which leaders can build in addressing issues of economic development in the Hispanic community.

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