You’re starting a news outlet in 2020? In print? During a global pandemic? When we were starting The Paper., we got these questions and more from nearly everyone: from family and friends to radio show hosts. They told us print was dead. But we didn’t listen.
Being from Albuquerque I watched as we suffered the loss of one of our only two daily papers in 2008 and of our alt-weekly in 2020. And I watched as the last presidential administration attempted, over and over, to assassinate legitimate news outlets. We told everyone that, nevertheless, print media was very much still alive and that we would prove it.
And thanks to you our readers, supporters, advertisers and donors, we have.
Thanks to you we have been able to break news like the video of the Otero County commissioner filmed on the U.S. Capitol steps on January 6. Our story was then used as evidence in the impeachment hearing of former President Trump for that January coup. Because of you we’ve been able to get exclusive interviews—like the ones from former staffers under then LESC Director Rachel Gudgel, who was brought down by their bravely made allegations of racism, sexism, homophobia and more. And because of you, our website got 100,000 hits in its first three months and 1,000,000 article reads in less than a year.
Looking to the future, there is more work to do. The Paper. was founded by and is owned and led by women and queer people. Our staff, contributors and collaborators are Black, white, Indigenous, Latinx, Muslim, Jewish, straight, queer, brand new reporters and newspaper professionals with decades of experience. The Paper. isn’t about tokenism; it is about real representation. And so, as we grow, our amplification and employment of diverse voices will continue to be a central tenet.
We also want to bring you more investigative journalism. In 1913 U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously wrote that, “Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.” That is as true today, if not more than it was 108 years ago. Wherever there is an abuse of power or abuse of a people, we want to shine the light. Because at The Paper. we believe an informed electorate is vital to democracy (which in recent times has seemed itself to be on life support).
I recently went to pick up The Paper. at my usual spot and found the copies had already been consumed. (Thank you again, readers!) But it was no problem; I just went to www.abq.news and read it online—because, in keeping with our values, The Paper. is not only always free to pick up, our website has no paywall.
While we make news free, publishing it isn’t. So please go to our website and donate or contact our advertising department to place an ad. Help us keep print not just alive but thriving!