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Foreign-language papers serve varied STL communities.

Anna Crosslin, president of the International Institute of St. Louis, is familiar with most of the foreign-language newspapers in town. She says it's common for immigrants who move to large cities to want a newspaper in their own language, and St. Louis has a long history of ethnic papers, including in the 1800s to serve Germans, Italians and other groups.

"It's an integration tool," she said. The papers help immigrants learn their new language, as well as informing them about public officials, laws, social events, where to shop for goods and services. It also is good for the city--merchants can direct their advertising to the immigrant groups, she said.

One of the oldest ethnic newspapers in St. Louis is II Pensiero, founded in 1904. It was bought in 1967 by Antonio Lombardo. He says he's retired, but works at the paper fulltime from his home, along with many volunteers. It is published twice monthly and is supported by advertising. It is written in both Italian and English.

About 5,000 copies of the free newspaper are distributed in stores and public places with a heavy concentration on The Hill, an Italian area in southwest St. Louis. While there are few Italian immigrants these days, Lombardo said the newspaper is read by older Italians, students from Italy and young Italian people who want to learn Italian and explore their roots and culture. He estimates that 5 percent of the area's population is Italian--or well over 125,000.

The Sabah Bosnian-American Newspaper caters to the estimated 50,000 Bosnian immigrants mostly in the southwest part of the city and in south St. Louis County. Because it relocated to St. Louis from New York, it also serves as a national publication for Bosnian Americans. The publisher/editor, Sukrija Dziudzovic, was recently quoted in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch regarding a controversy over the county's denial of a permit to build a Bosnian Islamic mosque near Lemay Ferry and Reavis Barracks Roads.

The Korean American Journal has been serving an estimated 5,000 persons of Korean descent, many of whom live in west St. Louis County, says the publisher/editor Kaysong Lee. The monthly paper's office is located near Page and Warson Roads and distributes about 2,000 free copies in St. Louis, Springfield, Mo., and St. Robert.

"The newspaper is very important. The main purpose is helping people with the language ... and providing news," Lee said. He also publishes a national magazine called Beauty Times for suppliers of beauty products favored by Koreans.

Two Latino papers in the area are Red Latina and La Voz. Each is published twice a month. A good place to pick up them up is the Tropicana Market, 5001 Lindenwood Avenue.

Red Latina is distributed in the St. Louis, Cape Girardeau and Beardstown, Ill. It is a 32-page tabloid that contains national and international news with much local advertising and local features. It calls itself the No. 1 Spanish newspaper in St. Louis.

La Voz has been published for a year by Jesus Ituarte, an attorney who specializes in immigration law. It distributes 8,000 copies in the metro area. Offices are at 6100 S. Grand Blvd.

"I felt the city needed to have a voice for Hispanic people and to give them information," Ituarte said.

The 16-page bilingual newspaper, with advertising, focuses mostly on local news and is staffed by paid employees and volunteers. It started as a hobby, but is now almost a fulltime effort, though it hasn't turned profitable, Ituarte said. He says about 70 percent of readers are of Mexican origin and include many young couples with families.

Mach Song is a Vietnamese newspaper serving readers in 20 states, including the Vietnamese community in St. Louis, especially near south Grand Boulevard. It is printed in Houston, and the publisher, Nguyen Dinh Thang, operates from Virginia. The newspaper supports BP (Boat People) SOS, a social service agency that aids Vietnamese who fled their country when the U.S. pulled out in 1975, victims of hurricanes and human trafficking and others.
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Title Annotation:Italy, Bosnia, Korea, Vietnam, Mexico--; St. Louis, Missouri
Author:Malone, Roy
Publication:St. Louis Journalism Review
Geographic Code:1U4MO
Date:Aug 1, 2007
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