Moving forward, Colombia Reports is going to depend more on voluntary contributions from readers like you. Here’s why.
Over the past few years we have tried several things to make the website financially sustainable, some of which have worked, others of which haven’t. This has been a long and ongoing process.
In order for a news website to function, it needs access to sources, journalists to verify information, editors to double-check accuracy and grammar: basically, a lot of people.
That’s on top of all the normal hardware and software it takes to keep a website running.
Colombia Reports never had a bag of money to rely on. When I began this website in 2008, I wasn’t even trying to set up a company, I just wanted to start a journalistic blog.
Since then, the website has grown immensely, mainly because of the goodwill of others.
My parents lent me money, sympathetic engineers helped upgrade the website, we received free computers, an investment, and most importantly, the help of more than 100 volunteers who have spent long days, weeks, and months in the newsroom contributing the articles, images, and videos.
The results have been quite amazing. What began as a two-man, one-laptop operation has evolved into by far the biggest English-language news source in Colombia and one of the biggest, even, in Latin America. We have broken important stories and done our best to reliably convey what’s happening in Colombia to our readers.
Nevertheless, advertisement income has always unstable, and an effective business model remains elusive. So far we’ve survived, but only barely, and only because people like you have been willing to help us.
We are not a non-profit, but in effect we are very much a non-profit. I’m fine with that. Anyone who is in journalism for the money is likely to get disappointed.
Nevertheless, I am a strong believer in the necessity of free, private, independent media. But running Colombia Reports is a lot of work and significantly more expensive than you might think.
This puts me and Colombia Reports in a bind.
As a journalist, my commitment is to the audience that uses the information Colombia Reports puts out, not to advertisers or any other outside interest groups. At the same time, I like that our content is freely available to the public, without pay walls, subscriptions, and the like.
Support independent journalism in Colombia and become a friend of Colombia Reports
This is why I am asking you to weigh in financially as a reader.
We think it’s important the international community has access to free, independent information on Colombia. If you do, too, we’re asking that you help in any way possible.
As you can see in the Paypal box on the left, we’ve come up with three types of friends to support us, allowing you to decide how much you want to chip in on a monthly basis.
This way, we finance a chunk of Colombia Reports’ operations through voluntary donations. This will allow us to strengthen our independence and loyalty to you, our reader, and secure a stable future.
And it will allow you to see what a job we can do when we really receive your support.