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Chattanooga Times Free Press publishes Spanish-language paper, Noticias Libres

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee -- Mar 22, 2006 -- Buenos dias! A greeting for new readers of Noticias Libres, the latest newspaper published by the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Noticias Libres (meaning Free News) is a weekly publication written by Spanish speakers for Spanish readers. After about a year of preparation, Noticias Libres was launched in January 2006 and reaches more than 75,000 Hispanic residents in northwest Georgia and southeast Tennessee who read, write, and speak primarily Spanish. A two-section newspaper, Noticias Libres covers events in the Hispanic community and focuses on local issues that affect their lives. There is a companion website, www.noticiaslibres.com, which receives several thousand viewers per week. Although published by the Times Free Press, Noticias Libres is a separate publication.

The Chattanooga area has seen an influx of Hispanic residents. While many learn and are fluent in English as a second language, a number of these new residents primarily write, speak, and read in Spanish. Over time this will change. But to reach them now, the Chattanooga Times Free Press embarked on a Spanish newspaper project. This was not put together overnight. The Times Free Press spent 18 months assessing the interest in a newspaper to reach the Hispanic population. After the assessment, the Times Free Press was involved in a number of sessions, large and small, with Hispanic people. They held community forums to better understand the questions and interests.

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