Area’s New Weekly Paper Launching Its Web Edition

July 30, 2004

THE Flamingo-Potrero area’s newestpublication takes a big step to the nextlevel today. Potrero-based The BeachTimes, which debuted its print edition inlate March and covers this section of theGuanacaste coast, premiers its Web editionat www.thebeachtimes.com.Locating in Costa Rica was an easydecision for husband-and-wife editing teamRalph Nicholson and Zoraida Díaz. Theyhad honeymooned here, and were lookingfor an alternative to the corporate life.The decision to settle in Potrero was awhim, but fit their search for a slower paceof life very nicely.AUSTRALIAN Nicholson had servedas Reuters bureau chief in Jerusalem,Rome and Moscow, and, most recently, asexecutive vice-president of New Media, adivision of Reuters in New York.Díaz hails from Colombia, and hadcovered Latin America as a photojournalistfrom Reuters bureaus in Bogotá andBuenos Aires.Reporting for Reuters meant a fairamount of bad news, Nicholson says, andhe and his wife welcomed the shift ingears. The Beach Times doesn’t avoid hadnews, but there’s plenty of space for featurestories containing good news as well,he explains.“Covering the stories in a small communityin which you live is a bit of a jugglingact,” Nicholson notes.TO an extent, “whim” also describeswhat The Beach Times decides to report.There’s the weekly news, of course, butNicholson relishes doing feature stories onaspects of Costa Rican culture that may beunfamiliar to the foreign community. Theblessing of the fleet in Playas del Coco andthe local sugar cane harvest figured prominentlyin recent issues.“These are the things that people seeall the time, but beyond being able to say,‘They’re harvesting sugar cane,’ they maynot know anything else about it,”Nicholson explains.The paper has gradually expanded itscoverage beyond its original Potrero-Flamingo base in the past four months, andnow covers the Guanacaste coast fromPinilla, south of Tamarindo, north to PlayaHermosa. Nicholson and Díaz spend agood deal of time on the road distributingtheir 16-page publication.THAT road time includes driving thefiles to San José – the only place in thecountry they could find a four-colorflatbed printer. That’s one situationNicholson hopes to rectify.For more information, call 654-4436.And be sure to check out the Internet editionbeginning today.Look for the BookNEITHER the words “Flamingo” nor“Potrero” will appear in the title, but bothcommunities will be included in the“Greater Tamarindo Phone Guide,” adirectory of area services due out in mid-December.Wayne Geddings of Tamarindo’sComputer Doctor is one of the area folksbusily compiling the computerized database.He says coverage of area willspan north to Potrero and beyond andsouth of Tamarindo to Playa Negra, andwill include all residents, businesses andservices wishing to be listed.A Web edition of the directory isplanned for mid-2005, Geddings says.Call 653-0103 or visit www.tamphoneguide.com for more information.

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