SILER CITY — Heidi Pérez-Moreno, a senior journalism student at UNC-Chapel Hill, will join the News + Record’s La Voz de Chatham project as a part-time translator and reporter.
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SILER CITY — Heidi Pérez-Moreno, a senior journalism student at UNC-Chapel Hill, will join the News + Record’s La Voz de Chatham project as a part-time translator and reporter, Publisher Bill Horner III has announced.
She replaces former La Voz reporter and translator Patsy Montesinos, who graduated from UNC’s Hussman School of Media and Journalism in May and has taken a full-time job in the Washington, D.C., area.
“I’m honored to be part of a publication that works to highlight Latino voices and stories,” Pérez-Moreno said. “It’s a critical asset to our community.”
At UNC, Pérez-Moreno is the editorial managing editor of The Daily Tar Heel — UNC’s student newspaper — where she oversees the publication’s print product and editorial content. Several years ago in Florida, Pérez-Moreno also oversaw Miami Dade College’s award-winning newspaper, The Reporter, as editor-in-chief and social media director. For her work with The Reporter, the Associated Collegiate Press recognized her as its 2020 Reporter of the Year.
This past summer, Pérez-Moreno was a reporting fellow with The Texas Tribune in Austin, where she reported on Texas politics and public policy. Previously, she also served as a Spanish translator at The Carolina Public Press and The California Report, part of KQED, an NPR affiliate station.
A Nicaraguan-American from Miami, Florida, Pérez-Moreno speaks fluent Spanish.
Led by staff reporter Victoria Johnson, La Voz de Chatham is a bilingual project the News + Record began in the summer of 2020 with a Facebook Journalism Project grant to cover COVID-19’s impact on Chatham’s Hispanic/Latinx community. At that point in time, over half of the county’s COVID cases came from the Hispanic community, even though Hispanic residents make up just over 12% of the population.
Since its creation, however, La Voz de Chatham has expanded coverage beyond COVID’s impact; to date, La Voz has published more than 100 stories, and at least half have been community and organization profiles as well as event features.
The project publishes La Voz stories in English in the weekly print edition of the News + Record, plus both English- and Spanish-language stories on the News + Record’s website. In April, the project published its first Spanish-language print standalone, which was also the county’s first Spanish-language community newspaper.
A second La Voz print publication went to press this week and will be mailed to more than 2,500 Spanish-speaking households in Chatham County. Another 2,500 copies will be distributed via community partners and locally owned businesses.
The La Voz project has attracted national attention; Johnson and Horner have been interviewed for stories by several national media organizations, and the pair will be joined by Pérez-Moreno to make a special presentation to the Pennsylvania Press Association in October.
In her new role, Pérez-Moreno said she hopes to provide the county’s Spanish-speaking community with reporting that speaks to the issues and trends across the area. She particularly hopes to cover community events as well as analyze how evictions and the pandemic have affected Chatham’s Latinx residents.
“There are so many factors that affect the experience of Latinos in North Carolina,” she said, “and it’s important to dissect how it shapes issues and cultural heritage in the area.”
Horner said Pérez-Moreno will be an important asset to the newspaper’s newsroom team.
“Just as we were lucky to have someone of Patsy’s caliber to get La Voz started, we’re very blessed to have Heidi,” he said. “As we add additional print editions of La Voz and continue with our coverage of critical issues within the Latinx community, Heidi’s insights and experience will add value to our work.”
For more information about La Voz de Chatham, contact Victoria Johnson at email@example.com, visit our “La Voz” tab on the newspaper’s website or check out La Voz de Chatham on Facebook.