June 27, 2009

Non-profit newspaper opens in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico's new non-profit print newspaper -- The Daily Sun -- could be a model for struggling newspapers elsewhere, its editors say.

This really has the potential to be a successful business model, Managing Editor Angel Matos told The Miami Herald in a story published Saturday.

The Sun's seven reporters, and others on the 85-member staff, came from the San Juan Daily Star, a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper that closed last summer after 40 years. The Sun is selling about 15,000 copies daily but has the potential to sell more than 400,000 to English-language readers on the island, said Editor Rafael Matos, the managing editor's brother.

The Sun, Puerto Rico's only English-Language daily, needs only to break even to be successful, Rafael Matos said.

Many in journalism are looking to the Sun during what has been a wrenching year for newspapers, the Herald said. More than 6,000 U.S. journalists lost their jobs last year, following 2,400 job losses reported the year before, the American Society of Newspaper Editors said.

Counting jobs in sales and production, newspapers in the United States eliminated 22,000 positions overall last year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said.