DRAUGAS NEWS Offers News in English to the U.S. Lithuanian Community

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The Lithuanian Catholic Press Society is launching a monthly newspaper targeting those U.S. families of Lithuanian descent who prefer to read their news in English. The new paper is called "DRAUGAS NEWS".

My paper, my friend, my link to LIETUVA.

Like other immigrants to the U.S., Lithuanians who arrived in this country during the past 100 years have strived to maintain contacts with each other, as well as with the land of their forefathers. When they came they established societies, charities, and published newspapers in their native language. "Draugas", meaning "friend in Lithuanian, is the oldest continuously published Lithuanian language newspaper anywhere in the world. Begun in 1909, the paper celebrated its centenary in 2009. "Draugas" continues to be published 3 times per week. However, many U.S. inhabitants who self-identify as having Lithuanian ancestry, more than 700,000 according to the latest U.S. Census figures, have difficulty reading Lithuanian or else simply prefer to receive their news in English. The publishers of "Draugas" are now targeting this group with a new monthly newspaper written in English, to be called "Draugas News". The newspaper is designed for the children of 1st generation immigrants as well as for 2nd generation immigrants who were brought up in an environment where frequent contact with active Lithuanian cultural groups was not available or who were not given the opportunity to attend Lithuanian language Saturday schools while growing up.    

"Draugas News" will be published from the "Draugas" office building, located next to the Marian Fathers monastery just southeast of Midway airport on the south side of Chicago. In fact, the Marian Fathers form an integral part of the Lithuanian Catholic Press Society, Inc., the not-for-profit organization which publishes both "Draugas" and now, "Draugas News". While looking at events through the prism of Catholic values, both publications are general interest newspapers which cover a wide variety of cultural, political, and economic events. In the premier issue, published just after Thanksgiving, there were articles describing the sports triumphs of Lithuania's swimming sensation, Ruta Meilutyte, the Lithuanian roots of Yale University's Nobel Prize winning economist Robert Shiller, and Lithuanian contributions to the Philadelphia Museum of Art Contemporary Craft show.

Who is "Draugas News" for? An example: Lauren, a 28 year-old 4th generation, Lithuanian, after her first visit to Lithuania last summer, wrote: "Finally, visiting Lithuania reminded me that my roots run deep and that even though an ocean and half a continent might separate us, my Lithuanian family is strong and connected." "Draugas News" hopes to impact all such generations of Lithuanians as well as their immediate families.    

For a further description, sample PDF copy, and on-line subscription form, please visit "http://draugasnews.org". The Facebook page of the paper can be found at "https://www.facebook.com/draugasnews". An introductory 1-year subscription can be purchased by readers located in the U.S. for $35.

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Vytas Stanevicius
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