It was the year when Michael Jackson’s Thriller album dominated radio and the Los Angeles Raiders dominated the NFL. Nao Takasugi was Oxnard’s mayor and Oxnard High School was still located on Fifth Street. That year on Mexico’s Independence Day, Sept. 16, I began to do what I’d been told couldn’t be done successfully—publish a free bilingual newspaper in competition with other English newspapers. Forty years later other newspapers are gone, and others are a shadow of what they once were. But that free bilingual—VIDA Newspaper—is still here, thanks to you, its loyal readers and advertisers.
This week VIDA Newspaper celebrates forty years covering and serving Ventura County’s community. It was on Mexican Independence Day, September 16, 1983, that VIDA Newspaper was launched, and I would like to thank you, our readers and advertisers for your support week after week. We at VIDA Newspaper are thankful and proud because many of you have been with us since the newspaper was founded.
VIDA Newspaper is a bilingual newspaper serving our community in Ventura County. For forty years, VIDA Newspaper has offered Ventura County residents pages full of positive information that many times has changed the course of their lives in a positive way and widened their options with more opportunities and chances for success.
The Hispanic community and the total population were very different in 1983. Oxnard, the largest city in the county, had a Hispanic population of about twenty-three percent and the county’s Hispanic population was much smaller, about eighteen percent. The number of Hispanics in Oxnard has increased to seventy-seven percent and the county’s population to forty-eight percent.
Forty years ago, there were several English language newspapers but many people in our community could not read them. I noticed that this large and fast-growing Hispanic community needed a Spanish language publication.
Our Hispanic community has been making history in Ventura County and we have been writing about it gladly and with pride since 1983 because we are part of this community. We do it because as a news organization, we have a strong responsibility to report on local issues affecting our community. We work harder with each passing day to better serve you.
Above all, we search for the positive angle about things that occur with our people. We focus on the achievements of people in our community so that when we honor them, as they deserve, it serves many other readers. They can see that by working, studying, and trying hard, any goal they strive for can be achieved.
Over the last few years, mainstream newspapers have experienced a difficult time due to the economic downturn and the use of the Internet. We certainly have felt the impact of our economy but we are warriors and we are fighting back; in fact, we are using any and all tools available. Due to the use of the Internet, now we even have readers in Russia and China as well as all over the world.
There were challenges, but despite fires, floods, earthquakes and other natural and man-made disruptions VIDA Newspaper has never missed a publication deadline in 40 years. The COVID-19 pandemic knocked the newspaper industry back on its heels, and that was not long after it had taken a gut punch from the Internet and the advent of online advertising.
VIDA Newspaper is a free publication. You can find it throughout Ventura County at local businesses or at your nearest newsstand. VIDA Newspaper has also embraced today’s technology and our readers have certainly taken advantage of the unlimited possibilities the Internet has provided. You can find us on the web at www.vidanewspaper.com, Facebook at vida.newspaper, Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/vc_vidanews/ , and X (Twitter) at https://twitter.com/VC_vidanews.
We have always asked and will continue to ask how VIDA Newspaper can better serve you. Our readers are our best critics, and they are also the reason for our existence. Without them, VIDA Newspaper could not exist.
As the publisher of VIDA Newspaper, I have a great love for this profession. What I do at VIDA Newspaper, I do it from my heart. I know that with VIDA Newspaper we can influence thousands of people in a positive way, a way that can lead them to better lives. Yes, I feel a love and a dedication to this profession.
A recent example was an article about the girls’ softball team from Rio that won a national title, a story that was not reported anywhere else at the time. That article exemplifies the editorial policy of this newspaper: We look for positive stories about the achievements of members of Oxnard’s Hispanic community.
This editorial is not intended to tell you only about our achievements and our successes during the last forty years, even though there are many. It is to simply and sincerely thank you, our readers and advertisers. We see the support you give us as a responsibility to better serve you every day. We will continue writing, working, and reporting on what happens in our community and striving to make VIDA Newspaper better each day, each week, and each subsequent year.
I would like to share with you a phrase I found among my readings many years ago that left a great impression in my thoughts. “A city without a community newspaper is like a person without a soul.” I believe this with all my heart.
Again, thank you.
Manuel M. Muñoz