‘May Have Discovered a Business Strategy’

The world began when I opened my eyes this morning:

At news conferences,
Puerto Rico Daily Sun news photographer Miguel ‘Micky’ Ríos is a
60-year-old veteran shooter with the skimpiest gear.

‘I have just a camera, two lenses and one flash,’ Ríos said. “But I’m an owner, and that’s OK.’

Ríos
was laid off last year from the San Juan Daily Star, a Pulitzer
Prize-winning paper that closed last summer after 40 years. Afterward,
its reporters, editors and other union members launched The Daily Sun,
a cooperative newspaper project that became the island’s only
English-language daily.

With its break-even economic
model and a mission no greater than to employ people, its managers say
Puerto Rico’s newest media venture may have discovered a business
strategy to keep newspaper journalism alive: no profits.

Sigh. I guess the newspaper where I learned what a lede was and how to do paste-up 15 years ago was imaginary, since nonprofit newspapers were invented in San Juan the other day.

That being said, this is exceedingly cool:

As newspapers across America shut down, cut back and lay off employees,
The Daily Sun has taken a gamble. With each of its 85 employees making
an $800 investment, employee-owners bought computers, rented space and
began publishing a print-only newspaper with no website and few ads.

[snip]

‘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,’ Rafael Matos said. “If we can keep
this paper alive, we are a success.

“All we need is to break even.’

Damn right. Too much of the OMG NEWSPAPERS ARE DOOMED conversation is about how wild profitability is doomed. If the goal was to keep the newspaper alive, even if the goal was for the newspaper to make money, we wouldn’t be having this conversation at all.

More, please.

via Romenesko.

A.

3 thoughts on “‘May Have Discovered a Business Strategy’

  1. Dan says:

    And as we are seeing in front of our very eyes, the alternative to “nonprofit” is “for profits that will be devoured, along with necessary operating expenses, by bloated, amoral plutocrats.”

  2. pansypoo says:

    profit is a twisted thing sometimes.

  3. MapleStreet says:

    Interesting idea. Take the fancy CEO salaries and profits and divide among the workers. Sounds kind of commie-pinko-liberal though. Can’t wait till Fox (aka Rupert Murdoch) gets ahold of this idea.
    But I’ve said it time and time again, the local college newspaper (business model, they give their papers away and have refused to sell me a subscription – and even a donation from me would play havoc with their student activity fee accounting) this college-run newspaper actually asks questions and investigates.
    They do so much better with news than the “real” local newspaper (business model, sell subscriptions, give 2 pages of news with 3/4 of it from the AP. Above all, never ask questions).

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