A new era dawned for TalCual with renewed strength. Our weekly newspaper will stop circulating on Thursday to make way for a new project, an ambitious and expansive one, which promises to become a reference for Venezuelan journalism, now only in digital version. That’s where new readership is, where public opinion takes shape, where society looks for answers.
TalCual has reflected what has happened in Venezuela for 17 years, and will continue to do so. It has done so by adapting to environments, to changes in the editorial consumption of the readership, growing and improving each day to become more convincing. We started as an evening newspaper back in 2000, and evolved to the morning version a decade ago. It was 2007 when we made that move. Then we became a weekly newspaper in 2015, dealing with the discrimination of the government of Nicolás Maduro when selling newsprint at the same price as it does to the public and pro-government media.
The late Hugo Chávez couldn’t silence Teodoro Petkoff, our founding director, and the irreverent journalism found in TalCual back in 1999 when he forced him out of the Cadena Capriles editorial group, where he was at the helm of its El Mundo (The World) newspaper. Less than four months later, TalCual released its first issue with that emblematic "Hello Hugo" on the front page.
Since then we have been targeted by the Government, which has used all kinds of tricks and illegalities to impose its hegemony. Actually, we have withstood all kinds of attacks by it. The country’s tax authority Seniat, the Ministry of Labor – and even the courts of justice – have been used to silence us. Trials from a justice that has a red blindfold over its eyes have multiplied. As if that weren’t enough, newsprint supplies were cut as another tool to achieve censorship.
As a matter of fact, this newspaper has barely received four rolls of newsprint since September of last year. This is equivalent to only two weekly issues. However, the chavista publications do get newsprint on a regular basis from a company known as Corporación Maneiro, and so do other media serving the interests of the Government’s communicational hegemony. We have never done that and never will.
Instead, we will grow as a newspaper. With a new website, higher digital resources, new narratives and innovative formats we’re going to keep getting where the readership is: digital screens. We already have 1.32 million followers on Twitter, we are growing on Facebook and Instagram, we inform via our Telegram channel and we are viral on other platforms. And this is just the beginning.
We not only defend freedom, democracy and human rights on the Internet, we also exercise them all the way. We promote national economic development and social equity. We stop circulating on paper (a thing of the past) because we want to make combative journalism of the present and future from the trenches of the 21st century, in the face of an obsolete, authoritarian and undemocratic government.
Our digital offer is more powerful, varied and innovative; we will keep on fighting with our research work. With the digital formats and web developments we will continue to make straightforward journalism for our readership and say things crystal clear as usual.