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Mid-America Publishing launches Viva Iowa

Like Viva Iowa on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/vivaiowa

On Oct. 14, Hampton-based Mid-America Publishing Corporation launched a new free-distribution Spanish language newspaper, Viva Iowa!

    “Our mission with this publication is to provide an underserved part of our community with information that is important to all of us,” said Ryan Harvey, Mid-America Publishing president and CEO. “This venture isn’t one we are taking lightly. Nearly 30 percent of the population in Franklin County speaks Spanish as their native language, and many of those people find it difficult to easily access news they need to be informed citizens. As a newspaper, we hope to provide them with information in a format that they can understand.”

    The paper will have an initial distribution of 2,000 copies every other week on newsstands in grocery and convenience stores throughout Franklin and Wright counties. It will include area news coverage and feature stories, activity announcements, a community calendar, classifieds, advertisements and other information.

    The publication will be based out of the Hampton Chronicle office, 9 2nd St. NW, Hampton. In addition to providing news and information to the local Spanish-speaking population, Viva Iowa! will strive to funnel new customers to local businesses. The sales team plans to work with local businesses to create Spanish-language ads urging the Hispanic population to spend their money locally.

    “We’ve spent numerous hours working with the Hispanic community along with the local business community to develop a platform which we think readers will find interesting,” Harvey said. “This paper will survive on its ability to serve the readers we are focusing on. I assure our readers that the publication’s success will be based strictly on those criteria.”

    Like many businesses throughout the area over the past several years, Mid-America Publishing has made an effort to hire and retain staff members who are bilingual.

    Pía Hovenga will serve as the lead designer, translator and publication manager. Hovenga, a native of Chile, has been a Mid-America Publishing employee for three years and is fluent in English and Spanish.

    Kelly McGowan, regional news editor for the Hampton Chronicle, Pioneer Enterprise and Sheffield Press, will also be a key contributor to the project. McGowan, who joined the staff in June, holds a double degree in journalism and Spanish.

    Frankie Aliu, Hampton, will serve as the primary marketing representative during the product launch.