El Tímpano

El Tímpano

El Tímpano—Spanish for “eardrum”—informs, engages, and amplifies the voices of Latino and Mayan immigrants of Oakland and the wider Bay Area.

El Tímpano launched in 2018 after a 9-month participatory design process that involved hundreds of residents and dozens of community leaders from Oakland’s Latino and Mayan immigrant communities.

At a time when news consumption seems more fragmented than ever, El Tímpano found a way to connect with more than 10% of Oakland, California’s Spanish-speaking households — providing both critical news and responding to questions and requests for information. The organization works in collaboration with its audience to engage in two-way reporting via text message. This model replaces things like Facebook groups, which can fuel the spread of misinformation and amplify political polarization within communities. El Tímpano provides its audiences with access to the information they need from a source that’s earned their trust.

Through innovative approaches to local journalism and civic engagement, El Tímpano surfaces community members’ stories and questions on local and national issues, provides news and information relevant to their needs, and investigates the concerns they bring to our attention.

All of our editorial priorities and distribution strategies have been shaped by what we heard, and by ongoing conversations with the communities we cover and serve.

Our approaches to community-centered reporting include creative in-person engagement—like a community microphone we’ve taken to libraries, laundromats, and street corners across East Oakland—and a text-message platform that provides actionable local news and participatory reporting. Our journalism is powered by the thousands of Latino and Mayan immigrants from across the Bay Area who trust us with their questions, stories, and concerns.

El Tímpano’s text-messaging platform and community microphone were both inspired by the Listening Post model of participatory journalism.

El Tímpano’s award-winning communications platform provides local news, information, resource connection, and participatory reporting for the Bay Area’s Spanish-speaking immigrants. Sign up by texting HOLA to 510-800-8305.

If you or your school, church, or community organization would like to help spread the word about this vital information service utilized by thousands of Latino and Mayan immigrants, contact our team at hola@eltimpano.org.

Service Area
Bay Area
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