Weekly paper for Hispanics under way

Un nuevo periódico en Español?

That's right, Collier County's first weekly Spanish newspaper has arrived.

The Naples Daily News launched Latinos Ahora, or Latinos Now, last month to reach Collier's burgeoning Hispanic population.

"We have a large, growing Hispanic community," said Daily News editor Phil Lewis, who is temporarily serving as editor of Latinos Ahora. "We hope this serves them some news from the homeland back in Mexico, as well as local news and sports."

Latinos Ahora publisher Russell Tuff

Latinos Ahora publisher Russell Tuff

In 2000, the last time the U.S. Census collected data on the Hispanic population in Collier, there were 49,296 Latinos. It amounts to 19.6 percent of the county's population, which was around 250,000 at that time.

Latinos Ahora also is distributed in Lee County, where it became the second weekly Spanish newspaper. In early 2004, the Fort Myers News-Press started Gaceta Tropical, or Tropical Gazette.

In Lee, there were 42,042 Latinos in 2000, which was 9.5 percent of the population, 440,888 that year.

D'Latinos, a daily morning news show in Spanish, is working with the Naples Daily News to provide local content for Latinos Ahora. The Daily News sponsors the first segment of the news break on D'Latinos, which airs at 7 a.m. for one hour Monday through Friday.

Mayela Rosales, general producer and host of D'Latinos, said she applauds the Daily News' commitment to the Hispanic population.

"They are trying to grow with the community, which is fantastic," she said.

The first issue of Latinos Ahora featured the headline "Ohh Dios!"or "Oh God!" on a cover story about the devastation in Cancun caused by Hurricane Wilma.

Each subsequent publication has had a local news story on the cover, and Latinos Ahora publisher Russell Tuff said it's important to keep it that way.

"It's so that you pick it up and it's your paper," he said.

Tuff also is the publisher of the 7-month-old Collier Citizen, a weekly newspaper for the Golden Gate and Golden Gate Estates area that is distributed to 15,000 homes in northeastern Collier County.

But unlike the Citizen, Latinos Ahora only will be available in newsstands at community centers, libraries, grocery stores, gas stations and some Blockbuster locations. The circulation is 12,000, which is roughly split between the two counties.

A Web site for the publication will be launched in the first quarter of 2006 at www.LatinosAhoraFl.com.

The publication does not have Spanish-speaking reporters.

Much of its content is provided by a Mexican news service called Fronteras, which also translates editorial and advertising content.

Inside every issue of Latinos Ahora is two pages of news from Latin America, a success story about someone who has immigrated to the United States, a sports section and an entertainment section that includes comics and a horoscope.

© 2005 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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