Editor-in-chief Richard Emblin told Colombia Reports that he and his staff of eight talented reporters present a different perspective of Colombia to balance the negative press that the country receives. The paper has “weathered a lot of storms” according to Emblin in order to survive in the difficult market of Colombian media which is dominated by monopolies.
“People still come to Colombia with misgivings, Colombia is a very misunderstood place. We have tried in the last three years to break the stereotypes and show that Colombia can be a great place. We do journalism from a positive angle.”
It seems they are succeeding as business travellers, the key target audience, return to their countries with copies of The City Paper as souvenirs and want to come back to Colombia with their families.
Currently the paper has a circulation of 11,000 copies and with each paper being read by seven different people, there is a readership of 77,000. Emblin hopes to increase circulation to 15,000 copies, giving The City Paper a readership of over 100,000. He also wants to increase coverage to Medellin, Cali and other cities with large bilingual populations.
The City Paper, which Emblin set up with his Colombian wife and is the only free English paper in Colombia, focuses on arts, culture and gastronomy and avoids reporting on politics and other hard subjects which Emblin says there is more than enough.
“We had an interview with Fernando Botero when he was in Paris talking about his new masterpiece Passion of the Christ. We’ve had [fashion designer] Maria Luisa Ortiz on the cover. We were the first to give coverage to ChocQuibTown,” Emblin stated.
Emblin, who came to Colombia as a journalist for the international press, is proud of the fact that The City Paper has opened up a niche market among English-speaking business travellers, tourists and bilingual Colombians, especially young professionals. It now has a cult following for being a tabloid-sized print paper when more and more papers are going online. However, this is not to say it is being left behind the times as it has already has a large Facebook following and has begun the development of an online edition.