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Orlando Sentinel Launches Bilingual Publication

El Sentinel Is Born and Makes Its Debút Among Hispanics

Orlando Sentinel Launches Bilingual Publication

August 11, 2001
Copyright © 2001 REUTERS. All Rights Reserved.

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Orlando Sentinal began distributing a bilingual newspaper throughout central Florida on Saturday, marking a publishing first in an area that has a fast-growing Hispanic community.

El Sentinel, which is owned by The Tribune Co, also the owner of the Orlando Sentinal, had an initial press run of 60,000 copies that were delivered free to local homes and businesses.

The weekly publication and its accompanying Internet site is a mix of articles in Spanish and English and focuses on the local Hispanic population and news about Latin America and the Caribbean.

``The time is ripe,'' Orlando Sentinal publisher Kathleen Waltz said in a statement to newspaper readers. ``We have a truly bilingual marketplace. Even a cursory look at the recent census shows that the Hispanic population is exploding.''

The 2000 U.S. Census counted 2.6 million Hispanics in Florida, and the Sentinal estimates there are 300,000 Hispanics in their circulation area, which includes mostly Puerto Ricans, Mexicans and Cubans.

Spanish language paper el Nuevo Herald was launched by Knight-Ridder in Miami in 1987 and also distributes in central Florida.

El Sentinel is born and makes its debút among Hispanics

by María T. Padilla

August 11, 2001

Welcome to El Sentinel!

We are very happy to be with all of you in this first edition of El Sentinel. This new newspaper signifies a very special and important moment for us.

We are delighted to release a bilingual publication for the Hispanic Community of Central Florida, one which is growing every day and becoming more and more powerful.

A few years ago, the Orlando Sentinel, our mother company, began an ongoing study of the Latin market. Now, the more than 350,000 Hispanics who live in this area can count on a newspaper that reflects its tastes, customs and history. I'm sure that you will enjoy El Sentinel.

I want to take this opportunity what El Sentinel is, and what it is not. This way, you will be able to enjoy and benefit from your new newspaper.

First, El Sentinel is a bilingual publication. That is, it contains articles in English and Spanish. Moreover, the articles are not translations of the same news, they are different articles.

Why bilingual? We understand that the Hispanic population in this area is sophisticated. It uses both languages in daily life.

It's no secret that, for many families, English dominates during work hours and school hours. But when they return to their homes or are with friends, the preferred language is Spanish.

We carefully choose the language of each article based on who will be most interested in the information, or who will benefit most from it.

For example, many Hispanics who are new to the Orlaando area don't understand English but do need to know how to enroll their children in public school. Therefore, the article entitled, "Hispanics: Learn to Navigate through the School System" is written in Spanish.

At the same time, the section "Homeland" is written totally in Spanish because many Hispanics are interested in reading news from their countries in their mother tongue.

It's important to understand that El Sentinel is not a translation of the Orlando Sentinel. We are a different, independent newspaper.

It is a publication created for Hispanics and under the direction of Hispanics. Please, let us know your opinion of El Sentinel.

And remember, you can feel at home with El Sentinel.

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