We Have Survived
14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 21 May 2017 — Three years ago this
digital daily was just a dream, a project on paper and a desire in the
heads of several colleagues. On that 21 May 2014, the mirage took shape
on the first cover of a site that robs us of our nights, brings us
frequent moments of tension, but also puts a smile on our faces when we
publish a successful investigation or report.
When we joined together around that initial idea of creating a
newspaper from within Cuba, we had at least two pillars on which to
build this informational edifice: to engage in quality journalism and to
maintain our economic independence. Fulfilling those initial goals has
been a difficult challenge, but we are pleased and proud to have
succeeded in most cases.
For three years this newspaper has privileged opinion, has made
reporting its flagship content and has opted for well written stories,
carefully prepared and anchored to reality. We have managed to address
opposing worlds: opposition and officialdom; ecology and
industry; emigration and local entrepreneurship.
We have avoided adjectives to focus on the facts and to distinguish
ourselves from activism journalism. Our compass seeks to maintain
seriousness and rigor in the simplest and most complex articles. In this
newsroom we repeat some phrases that reveal this premise: "it is better
to be late than wrong," "we do not work for the hits but for the
information," "being a reporter is not a good profession for making
friends," "a good journalist will always end up annoying someone"… and
In this time, we have rejected all offers of economic support from
foreign governments, political parties, foundations linked to power
groups and figures with a marked ideological position. Instead we have
chosen to "make a living" through journalism, something so distressing
and difficult in these times it has put us constantly on the verge of
material indigence. However, this tension has been the best incentive to
produce high quality content that we can offer to media and agencies in
other parts of the world.
Our editorial team is the best family you can imagine. Like all
relatives, it has its headaches: there are severe parents, hypercritical
uncles, grumpy grandparents, unkind brothers and fast-paced cousins when
it's time to click the button to "publish" to information. But in
general it is a team united by the best possible glue: the search for
Our main obstacles remain obtaining information in a country where
institutions practice secrecy, the official press gilds reality and most
citizens are afraid to speak with an independent newspaper. They are not
insurmountable difficulties, but they demand an enormous amount of
energy and patience from us every day.
The blocking of our digital site, the stigmatizing of our name and the
harassment of reporters have also negatively affected the scope of our
work, but we are not discouraged. Nobody said it was going to be easy.
The most important thing we are going to keep in mind today, when we
blow out the three tiny candles on our digital cake, is that "we have
survived." Against all the predictions of friends and enemies, we are
here, we have made a space in Cuban journalism and we will continue to
work to improve the quality of this newspaper.
Source: We Have Survived – Translating Cuba -