METAIRIE, La. (WGNO) — As the Hispanic community in the New Orleans region grows, more resources in Spanish are needed.
Jambalaya News is meeting that need.
“Jambalaya News Louisiana tries to connect people with resources, with news, with the government,” says Brenda Murphy, who founded Jambalaya News in 2004. “We try to keep informed the community in their language what happened in the city.”
Once a month, 17,000 copies of the Spanish-language publication go out to news stands in 14 parishes.
After a disaster, information in Spanish is even more essential—a lesson Murphy learned soon after starting Jambalaya News.
“We founded on July 14, 2004. August 29, (2005), Katrina impacted the city. Everything disappeared. Everything. Everything,” says Murphy.
Jambalaya News focused on sports before Hurricane Katrina. That changed when the Hispanic community grew after the storm. Murphy saw how much they needed news in their language.
She knows what it’s like to move somewhere and start over. Murphy was a journalist before coming to New Orleans 25 years ago.
“It was difficult for me to drop the pen and the microphone for a sponge and dish soap,” she remembers. “My first job in the U.S. was dishwasher.”
Her job today is very different. She is overseeing a growing news enterprise with a promising future. There is the newspaper, the website, an online radio station, and a new subscription feature called Al Dia, which allows readers to receive text messages with news updates.
“We see Jambalaya News bigger than we are right now,” says Murphy. “I know we need more effort, more dedication. But, we have the passion. And when you have the passion, you can reach the goals.”