MAGIC VALLEY — When the pandemic first hit, La Perrona radio station in Jerome decided to shift their focus to provide hourly coronavirus updates in Spanish to make sure the Hispanic and Latino community stay informed.
"I constantly get things in my inbox thanking me for getting up early in the morning. I leave a big summary of all the latest headlines and covid information every day on our Facebook page. To my knowledge, we are the only ones who are doing that in Idaho and potentially in the northwest," Benjamin Reed, Radio Hosts for La Perrona Radio Station, said.
Reed says he has noticed the importance of using radio to reach the Hispanic and Latino community during this time.
"It's been a lot of work. During the beginning days of the pandemic, I was putting in about 12- 15 hours a day. I still get up around 3 a.m.," Reed said.
He says to the Hispanic and Latino culture, radio stations are essential, especially in Idaho, since the state does not have Spanish-speaking news stations.
"Culturally, radio is much more important in the Hispanic community than I think it is in the anglo-Saxon community. It's just a part of people's lives. People can listen to it while working at the dairy, at a lecheria as they call it in Spanish, or elsewhere. We're kind of like a friend to them. We keep them company 24/7," Reed said.
Spanish radio stations in Idaho are essential not only because of their ability to put out information in Spanish but also because of their ability to put out information promptly.
"There's an immediacy about it, so that means if there's a new policy that's put into place and they need to get that out right there and right then, we can do it," Reed said.
La Perrona radio station continues to provide crucial COVID-19 information through their station and also through their Facebook page.
"It's a part of our commitment to the community to make sure people are informed," Reed said.
You can listen to La Perrona radio station on 99.1 FM or visit their Facebook page.