WGBY introduces region’s first bilingual television show

On the outside, it’s just a big blue building nestled in the heart of downtown Springfield, Mass. But inside, interns and participants have learned what it takes to master the skills of digital storytelling.

And now, they finally have a platform to publish their work.

On April 19, WGBY started airing “Presencia” every Thursday at 7:30 pm. It’s the region’s first bilingual television show.

Much of the content created during the station’s digital media storytelling workshops will be aired on the show. Members of the community are welcome to take part in the workshop called TOLD, which stands for Telling Our Legacies Digitally.

“We’ve been wanting a space where we can share these stories that we’ve been collecting for so long,” said Zydalis Bauer, one of the show’s co-hosts. “It’s kind of how the show came about, and we’ve been wanting to have a Latino show at the public television station for awhile.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau website, as of July 2014, Latinos make up 23.2 percent of the population in Hampden County. Organizers say the show is needed to reflect the community the station serves.

The hands-on workshops use a variety of tools to effectively tell a story. Facilitators encouraged anyone interested to attend and said no experience is required.

“I’m just really excited that WGBY, our local PBS station, actually gave us an opportunity to make sure that our stories are being told,” said Vanessa Pabon-Hernandez, executive producer of the show.

Pabon-Hernandez said her favorite part of her job is having the opportunity to create new projects, as well as helping interns who want to pursue a career in media. The station offers internships with the Latino Youth Media Institute.

Anyone interested in taking part in one of the workshops should get in contact with Pabon-Hernandez by calling her at (413) 781-2801, ext. 1550.

You can also learn more about the show and see some of its content by heading to its website.

Email James at [email protected], or follow him on Twitter @jamesv_news.

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