Journalist Pedro Palomino is keeping the Spanish-speaking community informed during the COVID-19 crisis through his Mundo Latino newspaper and his website.
Between arranging interviews and watching briefings by local politicians, Pedro Palomino sifts through his many emails and Facebook messages.
The head of a Spanish-language website and a print newspaper based in Baltimore, Palomino is a go-to source for people searching for answers as the coronavirus disrupts daily life. Where can I get tested for the virus? What do I do if I can’t pay rent?
“I receive a lot of emails, a lot of questions from my people,” said Palomino, who works from his basement office at home in southwest Baltimore. “It’s a hard job for me, but I like it because [journalism] is my passion."
Palomino founded the website Somos Baltimore Latino in 2009, purchasing the newspaper Mundo Latino four years later. His Facebook page for Somos Baltimore Latino now features frequent posts about coronavirus and video interviews with experts.
He has partnered with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs in Baltimore for a regular Facebook video feature called “Tu Doctor y Tu Municipalidad" — Your Doctor and Your Municipality — with Dr. Kathleen Page, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins.
His work is particularly critical for people who live in areas where the local government has limited capacity to translate, said Catalina Rodriguez Lima, director of the immigrant affairs office.
“Pedro is one of the few local ... communicators with an emphasis on Spanish-speaking communities,” she said. "He does it statewide. He has a very, very large following.”
The Facebook page has more than 51,000 followers. On a recent day, it featured an interview with an immigration lawyer, a summary of a press conference by Gov. Larry Hogan and information about mail-in ballots for the presidential primary election.
“Pedro has that platform where he can reach a lot of people through one post,” Perez said. "People trust him.”
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