SAN JUAN — 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.’
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
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:
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.
‘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.