LAND, the Latin America News Dispatch, seeks funding to pay our journalists — the NYU students, alumni and freelancers from throughout the regions — who make this publication possible. Paying our journalists is a standard we have committed to uphold. Even with the essential support we receive from NYU Journalism and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, we need your help to sustain this student-led, go-to Latinx news source in English for the journalists, diplomats, academics, activists, analysts and all the interested readers, users, and listeners we serve.
In fact, since the site's inception in 2009, LAND has distinguished itself as one of the only consistent, concise daily English-language sources of news and insights about Latin America, the Caribbean and Latinx issues in the United States.
The video above compiles brief reflections from some LAND's current and former editors and contributors. You'll hear them emphasize LAND's significance as a resource for Latinx stakeholders, but also (from those already out in the professional world reporting on these regions) how pivotal their time with LAND as students has been to their careers.
We are expanding! Our newsletter's subscriber list has grown more than 30 percent in the past several months and maintains an "open" rate of nearly 30 percent, which is about twice the industry average. Writers with expertise from the NYU community and well beyond produce the reportage, analyses and photo essays we feature on the main LAND site.
We launched RadioLAND in mid-February to round up the week's news from Latin America and the Caribbean in 10 crisp minutes that provide expert analysis and context. Listen...
We've been able to broaden our reach well beyond our own via Futuro Media/NPR's Latino USA and Futuro's Latino Rebels, which carry our newsletter and much of our enterprise reporting.
Why do we need the funding we seek? We have great back-end tech support, workspace, equipment, and help paying freelancers from the NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Instituteand from the Journalism master's degree program known as GloJo, for Global and Joint Program Studies, from which much of the LAND leadership comes. One of GloJo’s eight partner programs in the NYU Faculty of Arts and Science, the NYU Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, or CLACS, generously covers the cost of our editor-in-chief for the fall and spring semesters.
But the work requires many more hands.
The newsletter is the project’s most vibrant, heavily trafficked feature, involving a LAND team of up to 20 undergraduate and graduate students who rotate through the schedule at the university-mandated rates of $15-$18 per hour. It's our major expense at about $800 per week. Our journalists comb the news from the regions in Spanish every weekday night. They make the editorial decisions, translate, and write the summaries in concise, digestible English and our editors distribute it every weekday morning. An added benefit: because LAND is university-based, it’s one of the few legally permissible opportunities for those from abroad on student visas to be able to receive payment for professional-quality journalistic work.
For the past two years, through support from a single GloJo donor’s start-up gift, we’ve been able to cover the design services we’ve needed, afford major beyond-budget enterprise projects, and underwrite the newsletter. The donor’s gift also made it possible for us to continue (with just one staffer working 20 hours per week) to publish the newsletter over the summer months for the first time in 2018, something we'd like to be able to keep doing in 2019. We know it was worthwhile because our newsletter subscriber list nearly doubled during that period.
Our goal is $40,000, which will cover 2019-20. Exceeding this figure will enable us to bank any (welcome!) overage so that we can publish more enterprise and help cover 2020-21 and beyond.
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