Caracas, Nov 26, 2020 (OrinocoTribune.com)—In the last week of November two years ago we finally finished all the technical and design work to launch a project that was a few months in the making. With very limited resources, but convinced of the necessity for a fresh independent news outlet to provide up-to-the-minute English-language information about Venezuela and Latin America, Orinoco Tribune was born.
No paid social media campaign was employed, nor any Google campaigns, to position the website. Everything was, and remains, organic—by word-of-mouth—but it happened. In just a few months Orinoco Tribune was very well positioned as a reliable source of progressive information in the English language.
Today we are ranked among the best and most-read sources out there, with a fresh and informal style, and a look and philosophy conceived to be inviting to the new generations without forgetting about the old ones. We always pay close attention to aesthetics, and to every image we use, because we believe semiotics matter. And, in the coming months, we’re sure we’ll be sharing the podium with amazing websites like The GrayZone and MintPress.
All of this has happened with very limited financial resources and no institutional support of any kind. It has happened due the perseverance of a small group of Venezuelans who strongly believe in Chavismo, in the idea of the Patria Grande, and in socialism (the real one), and also—since April 2019—due to the generous support of many who have recognized our work and have donated using our two donation platforms: Patreon and PayPal/Credit Card (there’s no need to sign up for Paypal).
We have to thank almost 100 donors over the years who have used the PayPal platform, and almost thirty who use the Patreon platform: without your support we might not be here—this is not an exaggeration. We also need to recognize the immense work of our volunteers, especially Elizabeth Ferrari from California, USA, and more recently Canada-based Steve Lalla—without them we also wouldn’t be here, literally. And also friends like Walter Tillow, Stan Smith, Norman Koerner, and Roger Harris, who are always there when we are in trouble. Thank you all from the bottom of our heart.
But we know we can do better, way better, and for that we need the help of more volunteers and more donations, so we invite you all to help us with that, and by sharing this piece if you can’t help in either of those ways.
To inform everyone of what it takes to keep a website like Orinoco Tribune alive we want to share some key, brief facts that put our work in perspective:
• 730 days working 24/7.
• More than 8,000 posts. Half of them are translated or OT original content.
• We have posted more than 3,650,000 words in those 8118 posts. Half of them are translated or original OT content, meaning 1,825,000 words or 3,650 working hours in translations alone, equivalent to 152 days of non-stop translation, or 456 continuous eight-hour workdays.
• Proofreading one piece takes an average of fifteen minutes, meaning that if we’ve translated 4,050 pieces, we’ve invested 1,013 working hours proofreading those posts.
• Preparing and formatting one piece, any piece, requires an average of fifteen minutes also. This means that formatting, headlining, adding images, adding our style, tabs and categories, took 2,026 working hours.
• In the analysis above we haven’t counted the work invested in reading and choosing the best content, fixing technical issues, dealing with service providers, interacting and posting on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), making our podcast Chavista Chronicles from Caracas, or answering emails and messages, among other tasks we regularly perform to bring you a high-quality service.
• We are ranked—as of today—better than these amazing progressive and long-standing websites:
– Telesur English
– Mision Verdad
– MorningStarOnline (UK)
– The Canary (UK)
– Strategic Culture
– Consortium News
• Our goal for 2021 is to be ranked next to Prensa Latina English (Plenglish), The Grayzone and MintPress.
- We are an independent news outlet.
- We don’t run ads.
- We don’t take money from corporations, governments or foundations.
- OT relies 100% on voluntary work and is always looking for volunteers.
- The cheapest translation rate in the US is 50¢/word, meaning that our translation work alone is worth more than $900,000 USD.
- OT has big plans for the coming years, and in order to keep doing what we love we need your help.
- Due to current world conditions (COVID-19) donations have decreased significantly.
- Our yearly Paypal campaign, that began last April, should be at 58% by the end of November, but today we’re at only 29%, meaning that we’re receiving only half of what we projected.
- You can make your donations to Orinoco Tribune via PayPal and Patreon on our website.
Thank you for being a loyal reader and for your patronage.
-With love and camaraderie,
Jesus Rodriguez-Espinoza (aka JRE)