RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Life and history seem to be made up of lots of little steps and decisions that build into important events recognizable only after the fact, and then every so often there are the choices that clearly will alter the course of the future. The small changes tick away under the drum of the daily grind, and then at some point we look behind us and see something in the path traveled not so much unexpected, but notable.
The Rio Times has been blessed with a lot of great reporters over the last few years, and many of them have added something hard to quantify but no less tangible to our ability to write important news. It is the contact with our sources.
When we look at the stories in this week’s issue we have been able to gather exclusive key bits that may not be groundbreaking in the history of community journalism, but certainly helps us feel like we’re offering something unique.
Starting with our front page story about U.S. Defense Secretary Panetta Visiting Brazil, we’ve luckily been able to get a notable policy analyst Peter Hakim to help contribute to our news.
In addition, our friends at the U.S. Consulate in Rio (thanks Sara) helped us get a wonderful photo literally minutes after it was made available – it’s possible we were the first to publish it. Curiously the Brazilian government news agency did not have any available (yet).
We also have our friends at the Canadian Consulate giving us original material on the visit by David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. We have had a great relationship with Mr. Sanjeev Chowdhury since he arrived as Rio’s Consul General and can’t thank him enough for being so helpful.
Then in a different direction, we are also able to get a nice comment from the famous music venue in Lapa, Circo Voador, about an upcoming show by The Ting Tings. It was not so long ago that their press people would not have responded to our inquiry, but slowly we’ve made inroads.
For those following our series on street artists in Rio, we’ve been able to get inside the Rio art world in a way that many foreign language news publishers would struggle with, exposing our readers to some wonderful culture that may not make it through the onslaught of Brazilian media (for those that even try to decipher the Portuguese news).
Also for this story about the Leblon water pollution, we’re getting people to talk to us from inside the story, not just pulling comments off the wire and major media sources. It has not happened quickly, but it is happening, and on a week like this to look at the result it feels… good.
I don’t mean to sound too content, we still have a lot more growing to do, and actually the inspiration behind this Editorial has more to do with some big steps we’ll be taking soon… but you’ll have to come back to read about that.
Thank you to our great reporters, our very helpful friends, our advertisers for helping us grow, and of course you, for reading this.