Tal Cual's Leap

Today’s edition will be the last printed issue of newspaper Tal Cual. You would expect this to be the end for them, but if Tal Cual has proven to be anything, it's resilient.

After 17 years of history, newspaper Tal Cual will no longer publish in print after its November 2nd edition. It’ll become a fully digital media outlet.

In a statement earlier this week, Tal Cual explains how the pressure from the chavista hegemony forced the paper to this decision, especially regarding the lack of newsprint supply by the State supplier (CEAM). This was the main reason behind the format change from daily to weekly in 2015, and it only got worse from there:

“Since September 2016, this outlet only received four newsprint reels for publication. That’s barely enough for two weekly editions. Chavista outlets get paper from the Maneiro Corporation, and so do all those who pledged loyalty to the communicational hegemony. We didn’t, and we won’t.”

Tal Cual has suffered intense legal pressure for quite a while now, including a lawsuit by Diosdado Cabello against founder Teodoro Petkoff. In September, charges against Petkoff were dropped because of his health; Cabello said it was at his request.

It’s true that journals around the globe are abandoning paper and embracing the Internet, but in the case of Tal Cual, this comes as the result of an intended policy of repression.Tal Cual takes the leap, however, with optimism, as newsroom chief Xavier Coscojuela said to Fedecámaras Radio. They want to use Tal Cual’s already big presence on social media to conduct more investigative journalism. And yes, they’re pivoting to video.

On behalf of myself and Caracas Chronicles, I congratulate Tal Cual on its resilience and versatility, the very traits the hegemony hates so hard.