Friday, November 6, 2009

New England’s 7th Spanish-language paper begins publishing

At a time when the recession is battering newspapers, a group of Latino journalists in Massachusetts has launched New England’s seventh Spanish-language weekly newspaper.

El Tiempo de Boston, or The Boston Times, began publishing last week as a free paper that focuses on communities with large Latino populations. Coverage also includes local immigration, financial consumer stories, and articles about Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Cuba.

“We saw that there was little coverage and information in other media and we wanted to respond to the needs of the Latino community,’’ said Maximo Torres, 60, founding director of the paper, a native of Peru where he was a journalism professor, and former city editor of Boston’s oldest Spanish-language paper, El Mundo.

But El Tiempo de Boston, which draws its revenue from advertising alone, is starting up at a time when many papers are scaling back as the weak economy exacerbates an ad slump. Advertising overall is down 28 percent for newspapers for the first half of the year, according to the Newspaper Association of America. And a new study of multicultural advertising found that national ad spending for Spanish-language media declined about 6 percent from July 2008 to July 2009, according to the Nielsen Co.

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