RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A few things have happened this week to cause reflection on the mission of The Rio Times. This is an evolution and always subject to improvement, but for now and the foreseeable future it has not changed. We are a community news company, we serve the English speaking foreign community that lives in Rio and Brazil, or has interests here.
We are not whistle blowers. We are not investigative reporters, and cannot do in-depth feature coverage to expose social injustice or macro-economic fraud and corruption. Maybe someday, but first we need to be able to afford our rent.
Also, we are always pro-Brazil. We live (or travel) in Brazil because we love this country, and while nothing is perfect, we choose to be here. When the major media exposes negative or critical events we will also publish it, from the perspective of our community. But in the end we want Brazil to prosper, and improve its standard of living for everyone living here.
We are pro-Gringo. That’s right, if you are reading this you probably are a gringo, a foreigner, an estrangeiro, here learning the culture. We try to make a positive social impact and celebrate the good works (like when foreigners work in non-profit/NGOs) in Brazil. Do we want to write about bad things foreigners do here? Of course not – but we will cover it if it is major news. Again, our focus is about supporting and celebrating the foreign community here.
We are pro-Business. Despite the social purpose of The Rio Times we are a business, we publish news people want to read, and then advertisers pay us to have their businesses in front of readers. If we do not have income to live, we cannot continue to publish. The relationship between news, readership, and advertising is an essay in itself, but as a small community news company, we need advertisers to want to be associated to the news.
This topic came about for two reasons this week. The first had to do with the police invasion of the SP State squatter village. We covered it as a “Daily Update” which means just a short 200-300 word coverage of major news events. There have been some passionate criticism that we did not provide the balanced background supporting the cause of the relocated citizens.
We want to, please trust us on this, we would love to assign someone to fully delve into the situation, maybe even on location. But they need to be paid to do that, and The Rio Times needs funding to do that. Perhaps we can get a grant from a philanthropic watchdog group. We’re accepting offers.
The other reason for writing this is because of one of our own (wonderful and talented) reporters approach to a story this week, and the negative coloring of the topic. I will remain general out of respect, but the issue was about how we put a positive but balanced story together, especially in the headline.
And also at the end of the day, let’s face it, we’re “in-country”.