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Sentinel Will Launch Weekly For Hispanics

Governments Translate Web Sites


Sentinel Will Launch Weekly For Hispanics

Christopher Boyd

June 1, 2001
Copyright © 2001 ORLANDO SENTINEL. All Rights Reserved.

In an effort to fill the needs of Central Florida's booming Hispanic population, Orlando Sentinel Communications unveiled plans Thursday for a weekly publication that will cover local, national and international news in Spanish and English.

The company, which publishes the Orlando Sentinel, expects to initially circulate 60,000 copies of El Sentinel to households and newsstands in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake and west Volusia counties free of charge. Publication is expected to begin in August.

An Internet site -- elSentinel .com -- will be introduced in tandem with the new publication, offering readers up-to-the-minute news and information on issues affecting Hispanics in the region, nationally and internationally.

"We think this will be a unique product unlike anything anywhere else," Orlando Sentinel Publisher Kathleen M. Waltz said. "It our latest step in an evolution to better serve our Hispanic population."

Hispanic influence grows

During the 1990s, Central Florida's Hispanic population grew by 185,000 -- a 165 percent increase -- to nearly 300,000. And the pace continues. About 500 new Hispanic families move to the region each week, and more than one in every six Central Floridians is Hispanic.

The Sentinel isn't alone in recognizing their growing clout. In the past year, full-powered Spanish language FM radio and television stations began broadcasting in Central Florida. All recognize their audience's increasing economic clout and growing influence.

El Sentinel and and their staffs will be an integral part of the Orlando Sentinel's news operation.

Focused position created

As part of the new venture, Sentinel columnist Maria T. Padilla was promoted to Hispanic affairs editor. Padilla will serve as editor of El Sentinel and el, and she will oversee all aspects of Hispanic-related content in the Orlando Sentinel, including the Sunday Impacto! page and multimedia efforts tied to Hispanics. She will continue to write a weekly column for the local news section of the Orlando Sentinel.

"At this point, not everything of importance that happens in the Hispanic community makes it into the paper," Padilla said. "I see us talking more about the particular things Hispanics are doing in the community."

Sentinel Editor Timothy A. Franklin said the new products reflect the paper's expanding focus on Hispanic affairs.

"Our goal is to significantly improve our coverage of the Hispanic community," Franklin said. "We will be hiring some additional bilingual journalists as part of this effort."

Other newspapers have created Spanish-language editions that operate semiautonomously from the main newsroom. Franklin said El Sentinel would be different, expanding on the reach of the Sentinel's core news operation by zeroing in on issues of particular interest to Hispanic readers.

"Earlier this year, we made Hispanic affairs one of our key coverage areas," Franklin said. "What you will see is news that has a distinctly local focus."

New weekly to be bilingual

Because Central Florida's Hispanic population is largely bilingual, El Sentinel will contain stories in Spanish and English.

"Immigration stories might be in Spanish because recent immigrants might not read English," Padilla said. "Other stories might be better presented in English. One thing is certain: The publication will have a personality of its own."

The new publication and Internet operation will include reports from the Sentinel's news bureau in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and from Tribune Co.'s bureau in Havana. And it will use content from the Sentinel's sister papers, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Hoy in New York, Exito in Chicago and La Opinion in Los Angeles.

The print and online products will contain local and national advertising. Anibal Torres, the Sentinel's division manager for regional advertising who will oversee sales efforts for El Sentinel and, said the fast-growing Hispanic population offers significant opportunities.

"We recognize the economic power of the Hispanic market, and we are uniquely positioned to connect with it -- and to deliver products that meet the market's information needs," Torres said. "With our marketwide distribution and local zoning capability, El Sentinel will accommodate the needs of both large and small advertisers."


Governments Translate Web Sites

Frank Rivera, Mark Schlueb and Scott Maxwell

June 10, 2001
Copyright © 2001 ORLANDO SENTINEL. All Rights Reserved.

Recognizing the growing number of Hispanics who call Central Florida home, the city of Orlando and Orange County are bringing Spanish to their Web sites.

This week, Orlando Mayor Glenda Hood will unveil a Spanish version of its Web site, which can be found at

The information on the site will mirror the information on the English Web site, with dates and times for public meetings, lists of the city's departments and services, and details about economic development programs available to businesses interested in moving here.

The Spanish site also will include something you won't find on the English version: a primer on how the system of city government works in the United States.

"A lot of people come here from places where the system of government is totally different," said Maria Theresa Diaz, who is building the Spanish Web site for the city. "They don't understand how the City Council or the mayor's office or the process works."

Orange County Chairman Rich Crotty unveiled the county's new Spanish Web pages during his recent State of the County address.

To hear Crotty tell it, the move was overdue -- and one of the most requested changes he heard about from Hispanic residents. "We listened, and we took immediate action," Crotty said.

So far, the site at offers all of the basics in Spanish. Residents, for example, can check announcements from the chairman, find meeting schedules for county commissioners and learn about their elected officials.

There are, however, many pages marked with "Pagina disponible en Ingles solamente," meaning that it is only available in English. Those pages include job applications and the agendas for County Commission meetings.

County spokesman Steve Triggs described the site as "a work in progress," saying that the county is beginning to negotiate contracts with translation companies that can help with the rest of the site.

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