About Us

About The Digest

Latin America has a vibrant culture of journalism. It’s a curious fact, however, that surprisingly little overlap exists between news outlets there and the media landscapes north of the Mexican border or across the Atlantic. In the United States, Canada, and Europe this world of reporting and writing remains largely undiscovered country.

We at Latin American News Digest intend to change this sorry state of affairs. We strive to provide North Americans and Europeans (and Africans, Asians, and Australians for that matter) with wide spectrum coverage of news and commentary, produced by Latin Americans, for Latin Americans. Latin American News Digest aggregates the news of the Latin American media. We publish 41 weekly issues and two expanded, monthly issues covering July and December. We do not publish the week of Thanksgiving to show appreciation to our staff. The Digest issue date represents the news aggregation period. The value we add comes not just from presenting the highlights, but from recognizing patterns across countries, noting differences, following themes, aggregating and synthesizing.

Over 600 million people live in the Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries of Latin America and lots of interesting things are happening there. But is this crazy? Quixotic? Is Latin America simply too big for such a quest? Well, if broad coverage of the region is an impossible dream, then so is most journalism. The same argument could be made against attempting to cover individual countries with one hundred, two hundred, or over three hundred million inhabitants, such as Mexico, Brazil, and the United States. What is enough news? What does it mean to be “well-informed?” Just how many papers do most “well-informed” people read; a local paper, a national paper, and perhaps a couple of news magazines? We digest over one hundred newspapers and magazines, and the number is growing.

While world news services make half-hearted efforts to cover the region, the labors of their shrinking corps of foreign correspondents only hint at the journalistic riches available. And with the default emphasis such outlets place on the U.S. and Europe (with a tendency to see other parts of the globe from that perspective), they often give relatively short shrift to "emerging" regions.

But it’s not just a matter of quantity of coverage, which is, to be sure, pretty low on average in major papers outside of Latin America. It’s also a matter of what is covered. What mainstream journalism often generates is a streamlined and overly simplified version of events, with a fairly narrow scope of what is “fit to print,” with an even more narrow view of acceptable interpretations. Instead of providing diversified news and commentary about Latin America, it often acts as a filtering mechanism, constricting the flow of information and range of opinion.

Our aim is to even the odds, and provide a better way to follow events as they unfold across Latin America, by observing how they are covered there. We also do our utmost to increase the number of voices heard, and expand the diversity of explanations provided. To this end, we bring out points of view (on both the right and the left) that are seldom, or mostly likely, never heard in the “developed” world’s media. Latin America does not speak with one voice, and many of these voices say things that discomfort groups that hold social, economic, and political power in the region (or over it). Critiques of the status quo as defined in Washington D.C., London, Paris, or Berlin might as well not exist, as far as the mainstream media “in the north” is concerned. It has no patience with ideas that are deemed “immature,” “unserious,” or simply don’t tag along obediently with the accepted narratives.

Why Pay for It?

The sustainability and growth of our digest will depend on building a healthy subscription base. In 1984 Steward Brand famously said that “information wants to be free,” yet most people tend to forget the second part of his statement, that information also “wants to be expensive.” For news coverage both of these assertions largely miss a key dynamic: nothing is free, period, but given the economics of scale that are possible online, it can and should be very inexpensive. Therefore our $24 yearly subscription rate is just that: absurdly cheap at $2/month. You can’t buy a double espresso in Washington, D.C. for $2. We also have a student-friendly $18/six month rate that will cover a semester. For institutional subscriptions, contact the editor through the "Contact Us" link above.

Who We Are

latin-news-digest-logoLatin American News Digest (ISSN: 2374-5282) is a Washington, D.C. based publication dedicated to expanding the reach of news coverage and analysis produced by Latin American media.

Editor and Director

W. John Green was trained as a historian of modern Latin America. He received an MA in Latin American Studies in 1989, and a PhD in Latin American History in 1994, both from the University of Texas at Austin. He has lived and traveled throughout the region over more than three decades, from Mexico to the Southern Cone, as a student, researcher, professor, occasional journalist, and observant tourist. He has taught Latin American history at a number of colleges and universities including the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá, SUNY-Oswego, Virginia Tech, the University of South Carolina at Columbia, Hampden-Sydney College, and Washington and Lee University. He has held a Fulbright Fellowship in Colombia, as well as a Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Fellowship in Charlottesville, VA. He has written a biweekly column on Colombia, served as an Andean country specialist for Amnesty International USA, and for many years was a Senior Research Fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) in Washington D.C. He has published widely on Latin American history and current trends in academic journals, collections, and news publications in Latin America, the United States, and Germany. He is the author of Gaitanismo, Left Liberalism, and Popular Mobilization in Colombia (Gainesville: The University Press of Florida, 2003). The book also appeared in a Spanish translation funded by the Colombian Banco de la República under the title Gaitanismo, Liberalismo de Izquierda y Movilización Popular (Medellín: Fondo Editorial EAFIT, 2013). And his new book, A History of Political Murder in Latin America: Killing the Messengers of Change, was published by SUNY Press in May, 2015.

Our Research and Editorial Team
  • Jana DeJong
  • Michael Engle
  • Sarah Simon
  • Anthony Stronach
  • Andrew Flores
  • Kimberly Mentzer
  • Stephanie Mladinich
  • Savannah Aigner
  • Joe Cruz
  • Marin Exler
  • Marla Goins
  • Jose Guzman
  • Thomas Iezin
  • Lucas Kempf
  • Sol Martinez Guevara
  • Chris McCallum
  • Stephanie Peralta
  • Nathanael Rivera-Pagan
  • Melanie Santana
  • Ann Marie Smetona
  • Erica Smith
  • Sarah Todaro
  • Audrey Velanovich
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