Saving journalism via entrepreneurship
In AL DÍA we discovered 25 years ago that the privilege of being journalists required us, above all, to figure out a way to earn our own keep.
The only business in America that is protected by a Constitutional Amendment is one of the most challenged in today’s marketplace.
That is the beloved Press, and our cherished right to free speech— which our founding fathers sought to protect in our Carta Magna's Bill of Rights.
Little did they know that the practice of independent journalism in America, as it evolved over the last two centuries, was going to be turned on its head.
One thousand and eight hundred newspapers have folded over the past 10 years across the country and massive layoffs from coast to coast that have left thousands of experienced writers and reporters back stomping the pavement —pounding it daily with little hope— just as the journalists that created AL DÍA in North Philly did it 25 years ago.
Unemployed, and, in the case of yours truly, totally out of luck.
At that time, in 1991, the beat for a “Hispanic Reporter” was yet to exist in the mostly White newsrooms of our city.
The “minority quota,” occasionally represented by one or two African Americans, did not include Latino voices at all.
The “Parity Project,” launched by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists at the beginning of the 21st century, never succeeded in increasing the percentage of Hispanic representation of reporters beyond 2% or 3%. Today the U.S. Hispanic population is rapidly approaching 20%.
Technology finally hit news media companies like a hurricane and it made everybody forget what the whole business of including Hispanics, in addition to African-Americans and Asians, was all about.
It is in this challenging context —nothing new to AL DÍA— that we just announced the launching of AL DÍA Digital Media (ADM), the new in-house, cross cultural agency that will provide an array of solutions in a marketplace radically modified
It is in this challenging context —nothing new to AL DÍA— that we just announced the launching of AL DÍA Digital Media (ADM), the new in-house, cross cultural agency that will provide an array of solutions in a marketplace radically modified, not so much by technology, as by the changing demographics of the country.
Back to Entrepreneurial Journalism; back to doing what we have done for 25 years.
And that is earning a living on our own, so we can keep the practice of independent journalism alive.
Something we care deeply about. To the point we don't mind pounding the pavement as hard as we have done over the past 25 years.