Bilingual Weekly News
Bilingual Weekly is a Spanish and English language newspaper covering San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties in the California Central Valley. Originally centered on the need of original, local and useful information for the area’s growing Latino community, Bilingual Weekly now covers a spectrum of activities relevant to parents, families and local organizations. Its content is not limited to Latinos; as it includes others, regardless of ethnicity and race.
Prior to the mid-1990s, Spanish printed news in the North Central Valley was limited. The few serious newspapers in the area were independently owned, Stockton’s Portavoz and Modesto’s El Sol. Both publications disappeared without ever receiving the needed economic support of the Latino community. The Modesto Bee, a McClatchy Corporation publication, acquired El Sol in 1997, converting the publication to El Sol 2000. By the late 1990s, in response to the growing Spanish speaking population in California —and its consequent purchasing power— mainstream newspapers on the Central Valley ventured into several professional Spanish or bilingual weekly publications. Among the publications were the Fresno Bee’s Vida en el Valle; Modesto Bee’s El Sol 2000; Sacramento Bee’s La Voz; and, the Stockton Record’s El Tiempo.
Spanish and bilingualism Controversies
In November 1998 voters approved California’s Proposition 227. Proposition 227 was approved by voters, effectively ending bilingual education programs in the state —with some exceptions— and replacing them with the structured English-immersion model. Coincidentally, The Sacramento Bee and The Record ended their Spanish publication ventures. By 2005 El Sol 2000 was discontinued, following a merger with Vida en el Valle. However, the area’s Latino community had already tasted serious Spanish-oriented journalism and —after a few failed, individual, attempts to fill the gap— Stockton based Council for the Spanish-Speaking (El Concilio)  published La Voz  – a weekly Spanish newspaper. In September 2002, El Concilio hired The Record’s columnist and former El Tiempo’s Associate Editor Roberto Radrigán.
In March 2006, businessman Gene Acevedo partnered with editor Roberto Radrigán to continue the publication. Along with the publication’s business status transfer, from El Concilio’s not-for-profit to an independent newspaper under the auspices of a Stockton-based Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) titled Gráfica Design; the name became the present Bilingual Weekly. In 2011 Grafica Design LLP desentegrated and Gene Acevedo became the sole proprieter of Bilingual Weekly incorporating the publication in the State of California as a Limited liability Corporation. Director of Marketing, Sarah Lippincott was transferred with the new ownership to Bilingual Weekly and took over the day-to-day operations to become the Director of Operations and Marketing. Thus growing the newspaper from bi-weekly to weekly and establishing a daily online syndicaded presence until 2012. In 2014 the company suspended activity so the owner could focus on his run for Stockton city council.
Bilingual Weekly is the only San Joaquin County newspaper with reporters and photographers covering local news, events, education, health, culture, art, faith and opinions in both English and Spanish at a level of 90% or more weekly.
Mi Voz Cuenta/ I have a Voice is a campaign, the brain-child of CMOO Sarah Lippincott, interviewed more than 52 people over the course of nearly one year. The Bilingual Weekly recognized locals who were doing something positive to contribute to the community. Anything from teaching, running a non-profit to working on the construction of the Bay Bridge. The Bilingual Weekly coordinated with the Mexican Heritage Center and Gallery to create an event that displayed each edition for a month and celebrated the contributions of people throughout the community by presenting each person with a certificate of appreciation. Each individual was invited to be interviewed on-camera and was presented on the cover of each newspaper with a their story showing the good-side of a struggling area. This was during the time San Joaquin County was facing backruptcy and record crimes.
BW news online
2010-2012 Bilingual Weekly launched the newspapers website under the creation and direction of Chief of Marketing and Operations, Sarah C. Lippincott. The website offers daily news online with coverage of a variety of original content. News are offered in both English and Spanish on a day-by-day news setting, www.bilingualweekly.com.
- Mc Clatchy Employee Magazine Summer/Fall 2005
- Page 6 http://issuu.com/bilingualweekly/docs/168