Monday, June 29, 2009

New Nonprofit Newspaper in Puerto Rico

We've seen a lot of journalism nonprofits spring to life the past couple of years - all online-only, as far as I know - so this one may be the first of its era.

After the closing of the Puerto Rico Daily Star, the commonwealth's only English-language daily, a group of 85 employees chipped in $800 apiece to start their own nonprofit newspaper, the Puerto Rico Daily Sun. They don't even have a web site yet - unless you count the "coming soon" page at But they do have a Facebook page.

I am not making this up. I read it in Saturday's Miami Herald.

The best material is at the end of the story. Editor Rafael Matos admits the seven-reporter tabloid is heavy on wire copy. But the strategy of going print-only first was deliberate decision to build audience, he told the Herald. Otherwise, he said, "nobody would buy the thing."

Legally, Matos said, ownership is organized as a cooperative. He concludes:

It's the cheapest way to set up a media enterprise. I know in the U.S. it sounds like socialism, but in this part of the Caribbean, cooperatives are a lifesaver. If we can keep this paper alive, we are a success. ... All we need is to break even.

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