Dear Gentle Reader
When I started The Nicaragua Dispatch at the end of 2011, the wrathful Media Gods raised an amused eyebrow in our direction.
Online media is a precarious endeavor even in the best of circumstances, so the digital deities must have enjoyed a celestial chuckle over The Nicaragua Dispatch trying to make a go of it in an untested market hampered by the lowest Internet connectivity and smallest economy in Central America. It wasn't even worth wasting a lightening bolt on us.
But what the Media Gods don't realize is that the normal laws of nature don't apply in Nicaragua. In the land where lead floats and cork sinks, implausibility is king. The only project that is guaranteed to fail in Nicaragua is the one that makes perfect sense.
So, comforted by the notion that The Nicaragua Dispatch was an addlepated endeavor with no reasonable chance of survival, I started publishing daily news and analysis, with a focus on original reporting and exclusive interviews for an honest and engaging read. From the beginning, I strived to produce a website that is not only informative and provocative, but also one that promotes innovation, community-building and freedom of expression.
Today, The Nicaragua Dispatch has developed into a vibrant and growing online community of people around the world who are united by their common interest and affection for Nicaragua.
From the urban-like areas and remote reaches of Nicaragua, to the big cities of the world"”New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Miami, Mexico City, Toronto, London, Berlin, Sydney and even Tehran"”The Nicaragua Dispatch has developed a loyal community of readers who log on every day to see what's new in Nicaragua. As our readership grows"”up threefold in 2012"”so too has readers' interest in participating in this project.
We have published hundreds of reader-submitted blogs and community articles over the past 16 months. On our pages, people have told us about their projects, proposals, and ideas for how to build a better Nicaragua. Readers have shared their concerns, frustrations and hopes for the country.
threads have become lively spaces for dialogue, debate and disagreement. The
opinions expressed on those threads challenge, congratulate, criticize and sometimes
confuse; some are nutty and nattering, but many contribute to the debate by
offering interesting insights, prompting animated exchanges and"”most importantly"”allowing
people to connect.
The free exchange of ideas has allowed readers to find others who are interested in similar initiatives and share a common vision for the country.
The Nicaragua Dispatch is proud to be an online agora for the community-building efforts and cross-cultural exchanges that occur daily on the pages of this website.
But we need your help, Kindly Reader, to keep the pot boiling in 2013. We launched a fundraiser last August, and many of you responded generously, allowing us to make it through the end of the year. Now we need your help to continue on through 2013.
To cover our rising operating costs, we need to ask our readers for donations to keep Nicaragua Dispatch going. We are setting the goal of $12,000, which is a small amount for a media project to run on, but enough to give us a fighting chance to make it through the year.
We believe that the free press should not be locked behind pay walls. But that means readers who believe in this product need to help fund it. It may sound like a paradox to say readers have to donate to avoid paying for the news, but life is full of contradictions and the media is certainly no exception. We know from experience that a fundraiser means asking the generous and fair among you to subsidize the rest. But Nicaragua Dispatch can't afford to subsidize everyone"”not should it. I still believe that journalism deserves to be a paid profession, despite the havoc of the vengeful Media Gods who have turned the industry's economy upside down.
Please help keep the free press stay alive in Nicaragua. Help The Nicaragua Dispatch keep the news coming. Help us continue to grow this unique online community for Nicaragua. And in doing so, help me prove that the Media Gods are no match for Nicaragua.
All donations to The Nicaragua Dispatch will help us get closer to our fundraising goal. Those who donate $100 become "Friends of The Nicaragua Dispatch 2013" and get their names listed on Our Sponsors' page, making them heroes in their community.
Those who donate $200 attain the elite status of "CompaÃ±ero of The Nicaragua Dispatch," a title that will bring honor to your family and sunshine into your life.
And those who give $500 or more earn the lifelong title of "Kindly Benefactor," making you a hero of the free press whose fame endureth forever and whose praise shall be sung o'er the lakes and volcanoes for generations to come.
Each category of donor will receive an exciting Nicaragua Dispatch collectable to display proudly in your home or RV.
Thank you all for reading and supporting The Nicaragua Dispatch.