Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Freedom Worth Fighting For

By on August 11, 2016

To celebrate La Semana de la Prensa, Latin Media House hosted a lunch for our content creators last week at La Casona Restaurant in Santurce. In short, all our reporters, editors, executive editors or photographers were invited. These are the people producing the content for this Caribbean Business you are holding in your hands, but also for our magazines, including Imagen and Buena Vida.

heiko annotationIn the hurry of day-to-day business, we sometimes forget that the Freedom of Speech underlying all journalistic work is something people died for not too long ago. I am very aware that Freedom of Speech and good journalism is of high value and something to treasure. This is mainly because in Germany, where I grew up, people are presented in detail and repeatedly what Hitler and his criminals did to people who expressed themselves freely. Which is also why, today, in Germany, public debate and differing on a topic without attacking each other personally is the norm.

But we don’t have to go back too far in history, just recently, during the uproar in Turkey…the first buildings occupied by the military were the ones being used by the press. Because for all kinds of demagoguery, the press and expressing your mind freely is an evil—like for a 2016 “alleged billionaire” and U.S. presidential candidate, who had a reporter removed from an office tower named after himself because his staff overheard that the reporter was speaking in Spanish on the cellphone, and thus cancelled a confirmed interview, saying they had no interest in Spanish Language Media Coverage, as reported by BuzzFeed.

As you can see, Freedom of Speech, or the repression thereof, is still very much a topic today. And as masterfully expressed by George Orwell: “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations.”

At Latin Media House, we are committed to journalism and, with that, we are in good company worldwide. Real journalism—articles that question, investigate, educate and inform—is on the comeback path worldwide. Because, to everyone who can count to 3, it is clear that all the greatest technology in the world will not get us anywhere without the greatest content.

We have already come a long way since November of last year, since starting up the operations known today as Latin Media House. But it is not where we will stop. We are just now launching a next phase in our commitment to excellent content. Because we want to stand out, which is what really matters in a world where the supply of content is infinite.

To produce excellent content IN PUERTO RICO, to be consumed “in the world,” that is our objective—and we are blessed to count with some of the island’s best writers and creatives among our staff.

Only two days after our lunch, one of our greatest talents received a recognition from Asppro, the Asociación de Periodistas de Puerto Rico, or the P.R. Journalists Association. Luis J. Valentín of Caribbean Business, who recently reported with our team directly from the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, won the Laura N. Rivera Meléndez Award as the 2016 Young Journalist of the Year.

We will continue to take very seriously the production of high-quality content and hope you, your friends and family will continue to honor our efforts by subscribing to our products, which today, without exception, are not only conceived and born in Puerto Rico but also printed entirely on our island.

Have no false impression, producing this content is a difficult job; for those who doubt that, I’d like to close with a quote from Gene Fowler: “Writing is easy, you sit staring at a blank piece of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”

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