It’s hard enough to find a newspaper these days, let alone one printed in more than one language. One small tri-lingual newspaper, has for almost a hundred years, had some of the most influential people in the world saying, Vamos Tampa Bay.
“My grandfather started it in 1922,” says Patrick Manteiga, editor and publisher of La Gaceta newspaper.
For three generations Patrick Manteiga and his family have owned and printed La Gaceta newspaper. Suspenders and all, he has made this tri-lingual newspaper his life. “It was a six day a week Spanish language only newspaper with wire service from Spain and Cuba,” says Manteiga.
After World War II as next generation Tampanians returned and started their families Manteiga’s grandfather saw the need for English news in his paper. The Italian community soon came asking him to help preserve their culture as well.
“It’s written in Italian, it’s written in Spanish, it’s written in English. We have an Italian editor, we have a Spanish editor,” says Manteiga.
The newspaper’s offices are still in Ybor City, not far from the back of the printing company where it started. Over the years it has influenced, promoted change, and broke big stories.
“We were the first to report, and we did it in one story, that the Rays would be going to Cuba, that President Obama would be going to Cuba, and that the Rolling Stones would be going to Cuba,” says Manteiga.
Manteiga shows me around the walls holding pictures of frozen history.
“John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Ford, Carter, My grandfather’s met with Hubert Humphry, and of course all of the Florida governors. I’ve had the opportunity of meeting with Gore, and meeting Obama,” says Manteiga.
Today, it’s a weekly paper mailed out all over the U.S. It may not be as big as some of the dailies in bigger cities, but it has big names seeking it’s support.
“I don’t know if my grandfather/father would have ever thought that we outlast the Tampa Tribune, but we did. We’ve outlasted a lot of newspapers, and we’re probably one of the few family owned newspapers left in America,” says Manteiga.
So while La Gaceta is part of history here in the bay area they’re also looking ahead to their future hoping to make it to their 100 year anniversary.