L.A.N.D founders Andrew O’Reilly, Mari Hayman, Rachel Brooks-Ames and Roque Planas
CLACS-journalism global joint program students, Roque Planas, Andrew O’Reilly and Mari Hayman as well as CLACS MA student Rachel Brooks-Ames have been busy the last few months. In November of 2009 they banded together and created an online newspaper called Latin America News Dispatch (L.A.N.D). As they state on their website, “The Latin America News Dispatch produces original news stories about Latin America, the Caribbean, U.S. foreign policy, and Hispanics in the United States. Put simply, we dispatch news from the Western hemisphere.”
The idea for starting L.A.N.D came when “Roque and Andrew decided to take the information void related to Latin America into their own hands” says founding member Rachel Brooks-Ames. “It seemed like an exciting idea, as well as a necessary one, so Mari and I joined in as a way to speak out about issues in Latin America impartially and informatively, while also having access to a venue on which to publish our work.”
Content on the website has now reached daily updates and things have come a long way since the initial start up in November. A story on an immigration reform rally covered by Andrew on January 12th garnered the site a massive spike in their daily hits as well as numerous mentions in other national news sources which led to a great deal of feedback on the story. Most recently, a feature on ceviche by Rachel has been mentioned by the Peruvian national newspaper El Comercio. Because of the attention it received in El Comercio the story has gotten a number of comments from Peruvian readers.
“I never thought that kind of transnational interaction could happen so quickly. It’s inspiring to know that we’ve contributed to a dialogue,” says Rachel.
As L.A.N.D continues to grow they are always looking for contributors and stories. If you would like to contribute to the site or have a story that you would like L.A.N.D to cover, you can contact Editor-in-Chief, Andrew O’Reilly at firstname.lastname@example.org or General Manager, Roque Planas at email@example.com.
Maria Piedrahita Trimble, MA Candidate, CLACS