The Nicaragua Dispatch is an independent English-language news publication on Nicaragua. It is produced by Tim Rogers, a U.S. journalist with 12 years experience reporting from Central America. Rogers’ articles have been printed in TIME Magazine, BBC, Miami Herald, Christian Science Monitor, Global Post, Latin Trade and other publications in the US and Europe. He is a former editor of The Tico Times and the founding editor of The Nica Times (q.e.p.d).
In January, 2012, The Nicaragua Dispatch signed a syndication and electronic distribution agreement with The Christian Science Monitor. The Boston-based newspaper has nonexclusive worldwide redistribution rights for original material produced by The Nicaragua Dispatch.
The Nicaragua Dispatch works with a team of contributors and interns to produce original news coverage on Nicaragua. We also regularly publish opinion articles and blogs from guest contributors around the country.
If you are interested in an internship at The Nicaragua Dispatch, contact editor Tim Rogers ([email protected])
Click here for article about Nicaragua Dispatch in Tico Times.
Click here for our Blog on The Nicaragua Dispatch published by The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas Oct. 21, 2011
Editorial: Nicaragua Dispatch enters its terrible twos
(published October 17, 2012 )
One year ago today, a small spark in a distant and darkened corner of cyberspace twinkled and gave life to The Nicaragua Dispatch. Only a few astute observers noticed the event, but it was a big bang moment for us.
Since then, The Nicaragua Dispatch has grown like any healthy toddler—we’ve tripled our birth weight, increased our reach, strengthened our grip, learned to stand on our own, and charmed the elders with our adorable pudginess. We occasionally still have trouble drinking from a cup without spilling its contents, but that only happens very late at night.
The Nicaragua Dispatch was launched with the goal of becoming a “community publication for a digitalized, global era.” We wanted to modernize the old concept of an English-language community newspaper because the old concept of an English-speaking community has changed considerably since the days of William Walker’s broadsheet, “El Nicaragüense,” a publication that was tediously martial but surprisingly literate considering it was written for a bunch of cutthroats and yahoos (Walker’s English-language rag gave new meaning to the newsroom adage, “If it bleeds, it leads.”)
Today’s English-speaking community is slightly more civilized and infinitely more diverse than the filibusters of the 1850s. The U.S. expat community of today includes folks of all ages, backgrounds, interests and activities—not just roughneck adventurers, although there are plenty of them around too. The English-speaking community also includes many Nicaraguans, foreigners from faraway lands, part-time expats, and other gadabouts.
This globalization of the English-speaking community is reflected in The Nicaragua Dispatch’s readership. In our first year, 74% of readers have logged on from outside Nicaragua, half from the United States alone.
But The Nicaragua Dispatch transcends the boundaries of gringodom. In fact, we’ve had readers log on from 194 countries—even if some of those folks came to us accidentally by mistyping nicaraguadisrobe.com. Regardless, until Somali warlords get Wi-Fi on their pirate boats and North Korea’s Benevolent and Respected Comrade Kim Jong-Un lifts his country’s information blockade, we are essentially covering the entire planet—not too bad for a small publication out of Nicaragua.
The website is also increasingly popular with folks who actually live here. A quarter of our daily readers are people who live in Managua and Granada, and most of our followers on Facebook are young Nicaraguans with exceedingly good taste. Our in-country followers are the core of our regular readership, and we are truly honored by their loyalty.
The level of community participation in The Nicaragua Dispatch has grown as well. In the past year, we have published more than 200 reader-submitted articles, blogs and community news reports from more than 150 contributors. Those articles, which are oftentimes some of the most widely read posts on the site, have provided a rich diversity of opinions, ideas and perspectives on the challenges, joys and folly of life in Nicaragua.
I would like to extend a very special thanks to everyone who has contributed an article or blog to this site. I hope all of you—as well as the hundreds of readers who comment regularly on articles—continue to participate actively.
As we stated in our first editorial one year ago, The Nicaragua Dispatch welcomes all viewpoints. If you, dear Gentle Reader, feel you haven’t seen your viewpoint expressed on these pages, that’s probably because you haven’t written an article for us yet. So please get to it—the more opinions we can include on this site, the better. Nicaragua is a country of wonderful diversity and creativity, and that’s something we strive to honor and celebrate on the pages of The Nicaragua Dispatch. We’re not just doing journalism, we’re doing democracy.
While we are not afraid to laugh at the news, we are also proud of the serious media alliances we have formed with Confidencial, The Christian Science Monitor, and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Those organizations’ willingness to engage an upstart media project speaks highly of them.
We would also like to offer a special thanks to our founding sponsors—Milagro del Mar Beach & Golf Resort, AMCHAM Nicaragua, and AEI Nicaragua. Without their initial support and belief in this project, Nicaragua Dispatch never would have survived the early stages of digital panspermia.
Similarly, we would like to thank all our advertisers who have allowed us to keep moving forward. Likewise, a hearty hurrah to all our dear “Friends of the Nicaragua Dispatch” who have contributed generously, and to the 100 other readers who donated to our fund drive, which is still underway (Nicaragua Dispatch fund drive).
We were able to survive the first year of publication thanks to the incredible open-handed support of our readers. Journalism is a difficult gig anywhere, and doing it in Nicaragua is not easier. Ultimately, the news we that we toil to provide for free for all is made possible by the generous support of some, and they deserve sincere appreciation.
Finally, we would like to thank all the readers who have made The Nicaragua Dispatch part of their daily routine. Thanks for reading and for sharing our articles. Because of your efforts to share our articles with other Nicaphiles, our readership has grown every month since we launched. We still get emails every week from readers who are just discovering us for the first time—folks who apparently are just getting back from extended vacations to North Korea or Somalia. Welcome, we’re happy you finally found us.
One year ago today, we took a risk on Nicaragua—similar to the risk that many of our readers have taken by moving or investing here. But Nicaragua is worth it; and by working together, we can make it work.
Thanks for reading,
The Nicaragua Dispatch
Welcome to The Nicaragua Dispatch
(ND Editorial from our first edition – published Oct. 17, 2011)
The Nicaragua Dispatch is an independent English-language news source committed to providing honest, informative and thought-provoking journalism from this fascinating and complex country. Our mission is to expand readers’ understanding of Nicaragua with original reporting, while stimulating online discussion and debate with a free exchange of opinions and ideas from those who live here and know the country best.
The site is divided into five news categories and two community and opinion categories. The news categories cover breaking news, politics, human-interest features, business & travel, and exclusive interviews with leading newsmakers. All stories, news and opinion pieces will be updated regularly throughout the week. All articles are free; there are no hidden pay walls or paid subscriptions for any of the news or information on this website.
The Nicaragua Dispatch stands for democracy and free speech, but has no partisan agenda. We will acknowledge and applaud actions that we think help the country along the path towards development and democracy, and criticize conduct that obstructs those goals. We will always try to report the news in a way that’s engaging, descriptive and honest, while framing stories in a way that provides context and a deeper understanding of what’s really going on here behind the headlines.
We also hope to take the old concept of the community newspaper and bring it into the digital age of social media and “global communities”. The site features two categories for reader-supplied “community news” and “blogs & opinion,” allowing readers from around Nicaragua and the world to connect with one another and learn what’s happening in different towns and communities across the country. The Nicaragua Dispatch is fully integrated with all major social media networks. Readers can comment on stories using their Facebook account and share articles with their friends in other social networks.
All Nicaraguans and foreigners are encouraged to participate actively and regularly on this site. We hope to tap the collective knowledge about Nicaragua through reader-submitted community news submissions, blogs, opinion pieces and comments posted at the bottom of every article.
By encouraging active reader participation, The Nicaragua Dispatch hopes to show the world (and Nicaragua itself) just how diverse, interesting and thoughtful the people in this country are – Nicaraguans and foreigners alike. Though the news here is often portrayed in black-and-white terms, Nicaragua is a very colorful place. We hope to reflect that diversity each week on the pages of The Nicaragua Dispatch.
The best way to break old stereotypes is to provide new perspectives. So The Nicaragua Dispatch is asking you, gentle reader, to be a part of the solution by lending your voice, opinions and knowledge to this project. We want The Nicaragua Dispatch to be as diverse, engaging and quirky as Nicaragua itself.
In an effort to include as many Nicaraguan voices as possible, we are also reaching out to local bloggers, decision-makers and people you’ve never heard of to contribute to the site. We are seeking participation from Nicaragua’s small but growing population of young, Internet-savvy bloggers who have unique views on their world and times. The Nicaragua Dispatch will translate Spanish-language blog submissions into English to give as many Nicaraguans as possible an opportunity to reach out to the international community and have their voices heard.
We also hope to play a role in stitching together the diverse cultures and communities that call Nicaragua home. We hope to promote a better understanding between Nicaraguans and foreigners, and better communication between expats, locals and tourists.
The site’s community pages, which will be updated as regularly as new material is submitted by readers, will provide a useful online forum to connect folks living in the various expat communities throughout the country. Expats living in San Juan del Sur can write in to let folks living in the colonial cities of Granada and León know what’s going on at the beach this weekend. While foreigners living in the mountain towns of Matagalpa and Estelí can learn what expat life is like on the rural Caribbean coast, or in the congested capital city.
Generally, all views are welcome on the community and opinion pages. But slanderous, hateful and defamatory articles and comments will not be accepted – there are plenty of other places on the Internet to indulge in that behavior. Arguments published in The Nicaragua Dispatch need to be lucid and crafted around ideas and proposals, not personal attacks. Nicaragua needs more ideas, discussion and debate. And we endeavor to play a role in encouraging a new democratic culture.
Nicaragua is a country that can startle you with its simplicities, confound you with its complexities, and confuse you with its contradictions; it can make you furious at its injustices, smile at its tenderness, and then laugh out loud at its absurdities.
If The Nicaragua Dispatch can do the same, it’ll mean we’re doing our job.
Thanks for reading,Tim Rogers Editor The Nicaragua Dispatch [email protected]