26 Newspaper celebrates its 43rd anniversary

The memories are beautiful, from day one. The largest news proclamation in the province continues robust in its strengths 43 years after that July 26, 1978, when it seemed impossible for Las Tunas to have its own newspaper. A noble breath loaded with efforts, dreams, tears, and laughter.

Las Tunas, Cuba.- There is a lot to tell. I feel that some lines, however tight they are, do not reflect the successes and mistakes of a group in which journalists, photographers, proofreaders, designers, editors, and chief editors get up early, do not sleep, live in a hurry, and always on the lookout for new information. A reality that is impossible to build without the arms and soul of the drivers, the secretary, the file manager, the administrator, and even that essential lady who cleans and makes coffee.

Before, in the beginning, the formatists, linotypists, sign makers, trowels, and "lions" of the old press were just as valuable, where every morning the paper and ink delivery took place, with many reels squeezed between the hands of the former team, basically when the mass of old iron seemed to swallow newspapers or tear pieces out of them, in its uncontrolled turns. Memories of the workshop located on Colón Street, our headquarters in the 70s of the last century.

Countless experiences enrich its history. Generations of reporters, who came from university classrooms to seek their horizons here, its well-deserved title of Teaching Center honors the center and is driven by new colleagues with their performance. Changes in its formats, from that standard tabloid with a circulation of 40,000 copies. Then, on March 5, 1991, it circulated three times a week until, on Friday, January 3, 1992; it came out to carry the events of Las Tunas as a Weekly, eight pages and a circulation of 35 thousand copies.

Moments, spaces, tensions, challenges, hours of analysis, the improvement of the journalistic staff; a metamorphosis that engendered new commitments and challenges. The Special Period reduced it, in 1993, to four pages and, years later it resumed its initial form. Offset printing opened doors to graphic discourse.

By then, the Internet was not in possible dreams. But it came! 26 added new professionals to its efforts. The newsroom was illuminated with a webmaster, a computer scientist, and an English translator. The challenge of computerizing the Cuban press on the heart and the greed for knowledge. Offices became classrooms. English filled the corridors. Words of the new technologies were released ... HTML, cyber readers, web 1.0...

Goals amid great ideological battles: the return of the boy Elián, held in the United States; the fight for the liberation of The Five. Everything between blackouts that extended the permanence of the group in the newsroom, the lack of resources, the learning, and the daily progress with the enormous thing squeezing the chest: 26 navigating the world. It was first among the printed newspapers in Eastern Cuba; one of the few in the country. The miracle happened on March 15, 2000.

International awards, added values to enrich digital journalism, our English version. The effort of a guild that never said "no" to the requirement or the responsibility. Forty-three years in which the word "fatigue" has not been able to enter the agendas of its workers. The not blind passion, although individual and collective awards mark national and local headlines.

Fighting people, tough, perennial, of which I feel proud to be a part, because they always go for more and fight, between clicks and paved roads, to be the voice of a province that is the true protagonist. A newspaper that skirts skirmishes with love, rectifies its mistakes, undertakes and enforces that golden rule of communication: listen to everyone.

And on this welcome anniversary are the history and the beautiful memories. Yes, 26 is the path of Las Tunas, with its lights and its spots, with the falls and the raised ones. With more love and sacrifice, it is with the "new" and the "old", always betting on the morning of Santa Ana, like the sentinel it is. It does not matter that I have tightened these lines. Its memories aged 43 and over are thunder and lightning; our reason and our day; walking of ink and hands of the people.