New York Carib News celebrated its 30th anniversary last month and in a piece headlined “Looking to the Future” addressed the challenges of a changing media landscape while tipping its hat to the Freedom Journal, America’s first Black newspaper.
The publication was launched in the 1820 by a West Indian immigrant and an African-American minister.
Little wonder that as we at New York Carib News celebrate the paper’s 30 years of existence as a source of information and a bridge that brings African-Americans and people from the Caribbean closer together, we say with pride and conviction that we are really standing on the shoulders of Freedom Journal’s founders and on those the early newspaper pioneers whose vision remains as relevant today as it was when it was first articulated.
The news industry has been completely altered by the emergence of new technologies and the decline in traditional newspapers but the article was optimistic examining how the Internet and social media have empowered black readers.
Readers of Carib News, who in the early 1980s had to rely on a printed copy of the paper picked up at the corner newsstand or through mail delivery, have an exciting option of turning to our website benefitting from the immediate delivery of information that satisfies an increasingly engaged and wired audience. A similar thing has happened with the news organizations of the National Newspaper Association, an influential group of Black press owners and executives whose estimated 20 million readers have a buying power of at least $3 billion.
In this world of rapid technological change, the inhabitants of the news ecosystems aren’t just consumers. They help develop the news by volunteering information, distribute it and they share it, making what we do dynamic and fresh.
Carib News noted that the economic climate makes it difficult to adapt successfully to a constantly changing technology. But the paper vowed to embrace innovation, “the life-blood” of its business, while remaining loyal to three decades of commitment to the community.
Still, our core functions remain. Any review of Carib News’ 30 year track record would show a commitment to the flow of information that’s accurate, reliable and that tells our story. It comes from diverse sources in and out of the Caribbean and the United States, especially New York, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago Washington, Nairobi, Santo Domingo, Miami, Boston, St. Kitts-Nevis, Barbados, Haiti, Suriname, Grenada, you name them. The partnerships which Caribbean immigrants and African Americans have developed and sustained, dating back to the 18th century and we frequently highlight are sharp reminders of why we continue to function with such enthusiasm. Apart from providing solid information about the Caribbean, African-American communities, the continent of Africa and about policies emanating from Washington, state capitals, the United Nations and the states on the African continent, Carib News acts as a bridge between peoples of color.