Things that you can do to keep The Panama News going
It does take money for The Panama News to continue, and most of it that comes our way arrives by this circuitous PayPal route — but it does get to us that way. There are other ways to send money, and other sorts of donations that help us get by.
The Panama News, which has been going since late 1994, is editor and publisher Eric Jackson, who works more than full-time without any regular salary, plus a bunch of volunteer contributors who donate their labor in the ways of articles, photography, proofreading, translating, computer advice, help with PayPal transactions and so on. There are things that we ought to do and don’t, but would do if we had the people to do them. We also receive in-kind donations of materials. These words are written on a donated computer, which is aging and ought to be replaced. Most of the photos we take are taken with donated cameras. There are times when The Panama News is in touch with the rest of the world via a cell phone that works with donated minutes. Sometimes the editor even works through the night slugging down donated coffee. We have sometimes taken to the road to cover things without a proper travel budget because people have provided transportation or lodging. There have been emergency times when people have lent the use of their computers and Intrnet access. The editor and crew are eternally grateful for all of this help that has come over many years, from a relatively small portion of our readership.
The Panama News is more than just a website, and for much of this year we operated without a website due to criminal hacking attacks. We are also a Facebook page that is quite bilingual and contains a lot more content than gets onto the website. We have a relatively recent and small-scale but increasingly popular Twitter feed, on which all of the website articles and a few other things, mostly graphics, get posted. Then there is our email list, which includes our website posts and a lot more, and in particular reposts some of the better guides to cultural events in Panama. (Nobody has a very complete cultural calendar here. It would take a coordinator to put a lot of time into it and a team of people regularly covering beats all across the country and online.) To get on the email list, send us an email.
Much of the Facebook page content, and substantially all of our The Panama News blog links feature a selection of other peoples’ work — not pirate-copied with our imprimateur stuck on it, but linked to so that you visit the original websites, see their ads and funding appeals and so on. That makes us a news aggregator, one of many and seen as a hated would-be competitor by Google, the NSA collaborator that wants to have a worldwide monopoly on news aggregation. But Google, hiding behind algorhythms that it falsely pretends are impartial and “objective,” has a corporate US-centric and vendable to hustlers editorial line that rejects any real news coverage in English from Panama by people based in Panama. Look for Panama in Google News and mostly you get stuff from Panama City, Florida. They do include stuff from the likes of International Living that’s actually real estate hype disguised as news. If some far-right US publication spins a conspiracy theory that mentions Panama, there is a good chance that it will be on Google News. But forget about anything in English that is critical of the Panamanian government or the Panama Canal Authority that comes from people here. Forget about any meaningful reports about our rich cultural scenes. And forget about much in the way of coverage of Latin America or the Caribbean that has not gone through a Washington lens.
But what about the progressive news aggregators from the north, who are also chronically asking for donations? Reader Supported News, the Daily Kos, Truthout, Nation of Change and so on do valuable work. They do not, however, cover Panama or very much look at things from a tropical point of view. The Panama News doesn’t reach nearly as many people as those folks do, but we are the place to go for a Panama-centric point of view, not only about Panama but about surrounding regions and the world. (Is a Chinese company’s decision to order Arctic-equipped liquid natural gas tankers obscure and irrelevant? Not if you are thinking of the Panama Canal and its present and future competitition.)
Those are the things we are doing, and we do them better when we have more support from the readers. See the PayPal donation links if you want to help that way, but consider these other things you might do:
Donate cell phone or wireless Internet time via pre-paid cards: Get a Movistar prepaid cell phone card, scratch off the coating so that you can read the numerical code, and email the code to us. To help with our Internet bills, do the same with Claro.com cards.
Send cash by Western Union, MoneyGram or e-pago: You will need to send it in the name of “Eric Lea Jackson Malo” and email us to tell that you have done so and give us the routing number.
Volunteer to do something: Let’s talk about it by email.
Volunteer to donate something: Likewise let’s talk about it by email.