After a series of embarrassing blunders allowed highly offensive content to appear in the pages of the Miami Herald’s Spanish-language sister paper, El Nuevo Herald, the historic newspaper will soon have a rival media outlet to contend with, according to multiple published reports.
Since January, and allegedly without the knowledge of its editors, the Herald carried a paid insert featuring anti-Castro content in a feature called “Libre” tucked into the pages of the actual newspaper. The offensive content included degrading remarks about Michelle Obama, offensive language directed at Native Americans and Muslims, and calls for violence directed against Black political activists, including Black Lives Matter protesters, among other insults.
According to NPR, the offensive content was reported to the Miami Herald’s team on two separate occasions, neither of which resulted in the paper’s editors taking any action.
The fallout is that documentary-filmmaker Billy Corben, who directed the 2006 documentary Cocaine Cowboys and the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary The U, has announced plans to launch a rival news aggregation site called Because Miami. The site is tentatively scheduled to launch within weeks, according to Corben.
“If Miami and democracy have any hope of survival, we need local journalism and a thriving paper of record that is beyond reproach,” Corben posted on the site. “So we intended to launch this site next month. But over the course of the last few weeks the Herald has committed so many egregious, racist, and anti-democratic acts we decided that this soft launch was necessary.”
Corben mocked the Herald’s “editorial board” by pointing out that it’s not much of a board at all, given that it’s currently comprised of only two members, neither of which allowed the Herald’s own reporters to interview them to explain to its readers how such racist and offensive content could have possibly made it past them for so long. According to multiple accounts, the editors blame the fact that the newspaper’s payroll budget has been slashed, only recently coming out of bankruptcy, and bought by an investment firm. They say there just weren’t enough people to conduct a thorough review of the content that appears in the paper.