Cuba’s Yoani Sánchez recently announced that her digital newspaper 14ymedio will begin publishing next week. The news source will be called 14ymedio, in part after 2014—the year of its founding—and in part after her 14th floor apartment in Havana. Of course, all news about this event has been couched in negative terms about Cuba’s “monopoly on the mass media,” although the proliferation of blogs and alternative news aggregators from Cuba, including Ms. Sánchez’s blog Generation Y and the new online newspaper, would prove otherwise. Here are excerpts of a Miami Herald article; see link for full piece below:
“It will be a difficult road,” Sanchez wrote in a post on her blog, Generation Y. “Already, in fact, several people on our work team have received the first warning calls from State Security. However, we have no reason to be hesitant. 14ymedio emerges with nothing to hide. Information regarding its editorial approach, ethics and financial commitments will be available on our Web page, which will go live on May 21.” [. . .]
The 38-year-old Havana woman became one of the Cuban blogosphere’s most-followed writers with her at times poetic, at times biting commentary on the failings of the island’s communist system. She has said she wants the digital newspaper — the government owns all the presses and runs all the newspapers and radio and television stations on the island — to chronicle “the real Cuba” and accompany the political transition she believes is approaching.
[. . .] Sanchez has said she hopes her newspaper, with a staff of 12 that includes her husband, journalist Reinaldo Escobar, will have the usual sections of a newspaper such as sports, opinion, fashion and even business. Recent posts by Sanchez and Escobar have shown a thinly veiled concern for how the government will react when the newspaper, which they have been working on for several months, finally hits the Internet.
The Cuban government blocked local access to Generacion Y and more than 40 other blogs it considered to be critical for several years. Police have detained her at least once, the first time when she was heading to an opposition street protest.
But in February 2011, the government lifted what Sanchez called the “the long night of censorship” on the critical blogs, implicitly admitting it could not really control what Communications Minister Ramiro Valdes once called the “wild pony” of the Internet.
For full article, see http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/05/14/4117438/cuban-blogger-yoani-sanchez-says.html
Photo of Sánchez from http://alongthemalecon.blogspot.com/2013/01/yoani-sanchez-will-get-her-wings.html