Dear Gentle Reader,
When The Nicaragua Dispatch tried to sign off last July, the outpouring of public support for the webpage was both touching and inspiring. It was clear to sign to me that the site couldn’t disappear without a fight; you wouldn’t let it go gentle into that good night.
Responding to the continued thirst for news, Nicaragua Dispatch resumed an irregular publishing schedule a few months ago. It’s been the best I can do under the circumstances. But for The Nicaragua Dispatch to make a full recovery, I need your help.
Over the next several weeks, I want go under the hood to overhaul the website and relaunch it as Central America’s first crowdsourced news site. The Nicaragua Dispatch is going to put you, our readers, in charge of keeping the conversation going.
The Nicaragua Dispatch will be the first media company of its kind to hand over the reins to its readers. And who better to take over? You guys are the ones who made this site a success in the first place. I’m not leaving, but I don’t want to hog the conch either. It’s time to hear what others have to say.
As the Sandinista government pushes Nicaragua’s weakling constitution off the jungle gym to impose bully rule on the playground, The Nicaragua Dispatch is inviting everyone to gather at the sandbox. This project has as much to do with free speech as it does with journalism. The only wrong answer is silence.
Under the crowdsource model, your stories, insights, snapshots and opinions will become the new building blocks of The Nicaragua Dispatch. And what you say about Nicaragua will be read around the world.
This is your chance to help change the narrative for Nicaragua. If you think Nicaragua has image problem (hint: it does), this will be your chance to become part of the solution. Join the conversation––in English or Spanish––and help Nicaragua tell a new story.
Once we reach our fundraising goal to pay for the website’s overhaul, The Nicaragua Dispatch will allow anyone and everyone to publish their blogs and social media content directly onto the site via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The new site will also feature an open community forum and events calendar to stay connected with other readers.
Clear norms will establish the type of content that can be published and what’s prohibited. We want to encourage conversation, not chaos.
It might sound like I am giving you a lot of homework, but here’s the good news: you’re already doing it. You guys are proven. Over the past two years, hundreds of you have written guest blogs for The Nicaragua Dispatch, and thousands of others have commented on those blogs. Now I want to give you the architecture you need to take your participation to the next level.
Help us meet our fundraising goal and then join the conversation. Nicaragua is changing––help us tell her story.
El pueblo, periodista!