Mission & Story
El Tímpano—Spanish for “eardrum”—informs, engages, and amplifies the voices of the Bay Area’s Latino and Mayan immigrants
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.
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.
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 Reports
Findings from a year-long collaborative research project examining the impact of community-centered news on the civic participation of Latino immigrants. Project partners included El Tímpano, Enlace Latino NC, and Conecta Arizona.
A 2022 report based on El Tímpano’s participatory research into resource and information needs of Latino and Mayan immigrants and barriers immigrants have faced in accessing pandemic relief.
A look at El Tímpano’s work providing vital information and community-centered journalism for those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
An in-depth report based on El Tímpano’s nine months of participatory research on the information needs of Oakland’s Latino and Mayan immigrants. This has become a go-to resource for municipal employees, journalists, and those working on community engagement with Latino immigrant communities. Download the executive summary in English and Spanish.
Awards & Recognition
El Tímpano has been described as a model and inspiration by peers and media leaders across the country for our innovative approach to equitable local media.