Latinos are fast becoming the largest demographic group in Kern County. So what does the Bakersfield Californian do? It fires their only Latino contributor, Leonel Martinez (no relation), who was able to mesh both a personal and local angle into national level developments that affect both Latinos and Kern County.
The reasons are pretty simple. On one level the print media is collapsing under the barrage of news and information sources. Firing Leonel represents the Californian's attempt to "do something" in the face of change. Letting Leonel go will also help save money and (hopefully) stem the tide.
But we all know better.
Leonel Martinez was the only voice on the Californian who consistently brought Latino issues to the table, sometimes doing so in a way that made much of our local community uncomfortable. Most of us heard and saw the commentary. It wasn't always pretty ... especially in a place that is now rated as California's most conservative city (and #8 nationwide).
We're going to have Leonel on our program tomorrow to talk about this, and much more.