14ymedio, Havana, 21 May 2015 – The greatest satisfaction we have experienced in this first year of work has been reporting every day and doing it with our own voice with independent judgment, and without compromising with third parties. Having weathered the technological censorship that our digital site has suffered from its birth also fills us with joy. 14ymedio has been blocked on the Island since the first day and continues blocked on the servers that offer Internet access to the population, both in the State-run Nauta Internet rooms as well as in the hotels, but we know that Cubans read us via other ways.
We regret the news stories that have escaped us, not for lack of attention or for not having access to sources. Each fault committed hurts us, but we have learned more from mistakes than from successes.
In this time we have had the opportunity to interview the majority of the protagonists of Cuban civil society: artists, entrepreneurs of the Island, the diaspora and other foreign personalities interested in the destinies of Cuba. We follow the step-by-step process of détente between the governments of Cuba and United States, as well as the dialogs with the European Union, without ever ceasing to report the abuses against the Ladies in White, the arbitrary detentions of peaceful opponents, and the events seeking unity. We relate people’s catastrophes and fiestas, their tears and laughter. We have ceded space to optimism and to despair.
Our ambition is to become an indispensable reference for everyone who wants to know what is happening in Cuba and also what might happen. Exposing the scenarios, discussing the variables, but also making know the price of malanga, pork or onions and, in addition what they are presenting at the La Zorra Club, or El Cuervo, or the Lark Marx Theater, or El Mejunje. Exposing an invasion of African snails, the fall into disgrace of an untouchable official, or the murder of a transsexual.
Both the 14ymedio team in Havana, as well as our collaborators in the provinces, are learning on the fly. It is true that we have the experience of others on other alternative media before ours, here in Cuba and abroad, who have traveled this path that we are embarked upon, sometimes following in their footsteps and others taking shortcuts or looking for other ways to accelerate the pace.
We boast that we are not only trying to do journalism without partisanship and with professionalism, but also have dabbled in entrepreneurship from the field of information, with the intention that 14ymedio will be a self-sustaining newspaper with a solid economic model. We have not received one cent from governments, political parties or programs in support of democracy. Our newspaper is a business created with the financial support of 15 small private investors, most of them living in Europe, who believe in the project and are betting on change in Cuba.
Our fundamental objective is to maintain the editorial independence that allows us to report on all topics and to criticize any public figure. We take responsibility for everything we publish.
For the immediate future we intend to reach a larger number of Cubans on the Island. Launching an electronic newsletter for readers without access to the Internet is an urgent need we are working on. Applications for iOS and Android that allow our content to be downloaded and read offline must also be on our list in the coming months.
We intend to improve the refresh rate, but without turning our media into one of those “news factories” where the content is measured more by the speed with which it appears on the front page than by its quality. This is an infirmity of modern journalism and we do not want to contribute to the ailment. We want to immerse ourselves in data and research, strengthen our reach on social networks, and delve into genres such as reporting and chronicles, which also figure in our purposes.
The use of audiovisual resources and a clear commitment to innovation will mark our next steps. But above all the commitments, we want to assure our readers that by the next anniversary we will have more reasons for pride. We will continue to do journalism every day, with more professionalism and responsibility toward this society so in need of the oxygen of information.