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September 21, 2005

The Daily Journal Online

Edited April 9, 2006

This is a sad day, the venerable Daily Journal has been sold to the Bolibanana Republic of Chavez, previously known as Venezuela.

End of edit

As of yesterday The Daily Journal, the English language Caracas newspaper, is online.

The Caracas Journal is an old friend. While I was still a racing sailor -- this goes back some 38 years -- I suggested to our sailing club that we needed more coverage in the local papers, would someone please write about our activities. Since I suggested the idea I was nominated and that is how I started my informal career as a journalist. Back then, Clem Cohen was the sports editor and he was most helpful teaching me how to write for a newspaper. Clem later because the Editor of the paper.

This "caraqueño" newspaper was born "The Caracas Journal" some 60 years ago, founded by Jules Waldman. For reasons unknown to me, the name was changed to the current The Daily Journal. I find this an unfortunate change. For one, the name The Caracas Journal identified the paper as a "caraqueño." For another, the name The Daily Journal is redundant, it means the daily daily or the journal journal. I know journalists like to repeat themselves but this one seems extremely extreme. The third reason is Google and it is the most important reason for the current owners whether they realize it or not.

If you do a Google search on "The Daily Journal," in quotes, you'll discover that there are many Daily Journals all over the world. By order of appearance on the Google:
  1. dailyjournal.com - The Daily Journal Corporation (Nasdaq: DJCO) publishes newspapers and web sites for California, Nevada and the California Lawyer magazine.
  2. thedailyjournal.com - Your online resource for Vineland, Millville and greater Cumberland County
  3. daily-journal.com - At 8 Dearborn Square, Kankakee, Illinois
  4. dnj.com - Murfreesboro, Tennessee
  5. djournal.com - Mississippi, USA
  6. thejournalnet.com - Johnson County, Indiana
  7. mydjconnection.com - Park Hills, MO
  8. fergusfallsjournal.com - Fergus Falls, Minnesota
  9. ukiahdailyjournal.com - Mendocino County's Local Newspaper
  10. djc.com - Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce
  11. smdailyjournal.com - San Mateo County's homepage
  12. yourdailyjournal.com - Richmond County Daily Journal, Rockingham, North Carolina
There are more but you get the idea. Now, because of that unfortunate name change a few years back, the current owner is saddled with mission impossible: How to rank in Google.

After the hay days in the late 60s, 70s, and early 80s, The Daily Journal declined in circulation with the declining population of English speaking expats living in Venezuela. After the devaluation of the bolivar starting on Black Friday, February 18, 1983, it became increasingly difficult to make a living in Venezuela, specially if you had expenses in hard currencies such as your children's education back home. Since I was quite active in some English speaking circles such as our Theater Club, I personally felt the change. At one point we had to merge the Theater Club with a local Glee Club to maintain a large enough list of members. Venezuela has been in decline for the last 25 years and this decline has brought down many enterprises including the venerable The Daily Journal.

A couple of years ago, Russ Dallen, another American expat and new arrival, decided to buy the paper and give it new life. I wish Russ Dallen, owner/editor, the best of luck with this undertaking and, Russ, think about changing the name back to "The Caracas Journal."

Denny Schlesinger
Caracas - Venezuela

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