Panama in July…

July rations
If you are just scraping by, especially if you live in a semi-rural area, there is a good chance that you can find a mango to glean in a public place.

On the other hand, if you are publishing The Panama News…

Some of the year’s most important bills come due. Last week it was the virus protection service.

Not a billionaire’s toy. Not a profit-driven corporation with a hedge fund manager who has an MBA makingwe  ruthless decisions that have little or nothing to do with the culture and ethics of journalism. Not a governmental propaganda department, even if the editor does have a point of view that does get expressed. Not financed by advertising, with clients expecting a certain editorial slant in exchange for their purchases. Not at the beck and call of some politician, even if the editor is an activist and has held elected and appointed public and party offices.

The Panama News is supported by reader donations. It’s a shoestring operation. It has survived since 1994. Jeff Bezos, Rupert Murdoch, the Voice Of America or Ricardo Martinelli, the editor is not.

Our seasons have much in common with the US television seasons. In the northern hemisphere summer, a lot of people go on vacation, and in Panama a lot of people take vacations in North America, Europe or the British Isles. Our readership goes down a bit, our donations go down a bit more, but the bills don’t pause. We get another shorter and less severe slow season during the December and January holidays, just like the US television networks do.

We are informal, but very much part of the Panamanian and world economy. In 2019 Panama was in an economic slump, and then the next year an epidemic that killed some 8,600 people here and disrupted most sorts of regular activities hit us. Then serious inflation. This year our website rental is up nearly 18% over what it was last year.

Rather than compose a blues progression to go along with this, we just persist. Which we can only do with help from our friends, the readers.

Thanks for the support that has gotten us this far — and for helping us to extend our run beyond this slow period.


Contact us by email at

To fend off hackers, organized trolls and other online vandalism, our website comments feature is switched off. Instead, come to our Facebook page to join in the discussion.

These links are interactive — click on the boxes

summer hard timesFB_2