Caracas Chronicles Reboot: What comes next


Dear Readers,

As Juan said earlier, Caracas Chronicles is at a crossroads.

For the past 13 years – count ’em, 13! – this blog has slugged through Venezuelan reality on an all-volunteer, zero-revenue basis. We’ve tried all kinds of formats and styles, built up a bit of a brand and nurtured an amazing reader community. Considering we did it all on a budget of no dollars (actually, negative-a-few-dollars, since hosting isn’t free!) I’d say we’ve done alright.

But in those 13 years, Venezuela has changed almost beyond recognition. And its media landscape has, if anything, been transformed even more profoundly.

It used to be that there were news “out there” and we could just presume you already knew what they were. Our job was to bring fresh insight and perspective to the table, skewering the skewerable and praising the praiseworthy.

But the government’s growing chokehold over information has upended that calculus: the independent media we used to exist to comment on has all but disappeared. Sites like ours, used to sitting on the sidelines and heckling, increasingly find ourselves heckling at an empty stage.

Things have changed. Our sense is that the all-volunteer/zero-budget model doesn’t work very well in the era of Media Hegemony. Caracas Chronicles needs to be more than a hobby.

The transition from media commentary site into media site will only work if we have talented people dedicated to it full time. And that can’t happen without some revenue.

So over the next few months we’re going to be experimenting with new ways of squaring this circle.

Starting Monday, Emiliana Duarte is joining the blog full time as Managing Editor. Emi is one of those deliriously talented people you’re lucky to meet once in a long while who can just project-manage the living daylights out of pretty much anything.

The cherry on top? She’s a great writer, too.

She’ll be running the site on a day-to-day basis, and she’ll lead the search for a viable monetization strategy that conjugates getting-a-reliable-stream-of-amazing-content with not-annoying-you-the-readers-too-much.

We’re ridiculously lucky to have her.

To guide her, I’m going to take on the role of Executive Editor: my job is to set the overall direction of the blog, and empower her to kick quite a lot of ass in terms of delivery.

(In other words: yes, we'll still have in-jokes in the new Caracas Chronicles...)
(Let the Ilan Chester jokes…BEGIN!)

And Juan is going to stay on as Contributing Editor – running some very cool new projects we’ll be announcing in coming weeks, and of course writing too.

I can’t even say how grateful I am to Juan for taking over the joint over the last year and a half. He led the blog brilliantly through some rough patches as it morphed from purely-personal site to collective blogging platform, and he’s going to be right here blogging, debating, editing (and more!) as we move into the next stage.

For now, we’re going to move cautiously, sin prisa pero sin pausa. The changes may not be obvious on the surface at first, but give it a month or two.

Really, Caracas Chronicles has been dillydallying over this move for way too long.

The time has come to go pro.

Trust me, it’s going to be great!

Thanks so much for your continued support,

Quico T.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.


    • Caracas Chronicles is being purchased for $500,000 by a Panamanian holding company that is indirectly owned by the Cousin of Diasdado Cabello. Quico is being offered a job as overseas contributor where he will write one pro Maduro article a week at a fixed salary of 1000 dollars. Thats what I heard.

      • Sounds logical–money-losing Ven. English-language “The Daily Journal” was purchased similarly, only to be closed within a year–actually, the process has already started, with a “Like” for every comment, thereby calling into question the veracity of the comments/commenters (I mean, is there really someone named “Tony Tan Keng Yam”??–I mean, I could understand “Tony Yam”, but “Tank Keng”?

  1. Emiliana rules!! Can’t wait to see CC’s going to the next level. Even if that means that we have to “bajarnos de la mula”

  2. Yo pense que ustedes iban a monetizar montando una consultora… vuelvanse el primer portal de noticias de vzla en ingles con alto contenido editorial… hagan dinero como quieran pero no nos cobren!!! jaja exito

  3. Supongo que ya lo conocen porque son periodistas pero por si a alguien más le interesa, esta página hace con Grecia lo que parece ser que ustedes intentan hacer con Venezuela. Lo que yo he podido leer me ha parecido muy bueno. De todos modos imagino que aquí pretenden hacer algo bastante más barato.

    Una idea más. Los de viven de hacer revistas en papel a la carta. Con todo el material que crean o ya tienen, crear una, en papel o no, les saldría realmente barato por no decir gratis. Si les interesa, pónganse en contacto conmigo a través de email.

    No tengo ni idea qué futuro económico puede tener su proyecto pero, aunque soy pesimista, les deseo lo mejor.

  4. Quico: CC is at a crossroads precisely because Venezuela is a crossroads. At the time I became a reader, people in opposition to Chavismo used to mute their criticism in public. When voicing objection in public places, we sometimes spoke in whispers because we were afraid those around us would take offense, or even respond violently. Today, it is the Chavistas (the few idealists remaining) who lower their voices. They are vastly out-numbered and they are painfully aware of it. The campaign to convince the public and the world that Chavismo is incompetent, anti-democratic, and corrupt to the bone, has been won… decisively! Caracas Chronicles needs a new mission statement and needs to adapt and change to its new mission.

    Emiliana: Welcome. I am very glad to hear you will be promoted. I have always liked your writing and point of view.

    In terms of defining the mission, there are two principle subjects to be explored:

    1. Strategies for the defeat of the regime.
    2. Planning for how to recover the country and the economy.

    The problem with the first is that many aspects of this are necessarily “need to know” within the Opposition leadership and not necessarily subject to public debate. The problem with the second is that it all depends on how the first is accomplished.

    Another possibility is simply getting out the real news of what is happening in English, such as you did in another post today about the rebellion of the bachequeros in Sinamaica.

  5. “The time has come to go pro.

    Trust me, it’s going to be great!”

    Either we’re getting free GoPro cameras, or CCS Chronicles is gonna use advertisements and/or charge for comments or subscription.

    In the former case, make my camera a Hero4, preferably black, I’ll e-mail you shipping instructions later.

    Otherwise, chao chiguire.

  6. Groundhog Day Redux–same post, 9 hours later, all previous comments wiped, the New Caracas Chronicles Re-Boot.–Double Our Pleasure, Double Your Fun (from old Doublemint Gum ad).


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