On to the Cities
They keep saying Venceremos is in Nicaragua, that we broadcast from Nicaragua, that Daniel Ortega is our godfather and keeps us sitting pretty in Managua. We laugh when we hear that. We know Morazán like our backyard, we've broadcast from every square inch of it. But journalists are like Saint Thomas: they have to see to believe.
During Easter week in '88 four foreign journalists travelled up to Morazán with some UNICEF personnel who had come to vaccinate children.
"Do a live broadcast from Perquín," the commanders told us. "That way those journalists will see where Venceremos really is."
After the show, we sat down to shoot the breeze with the journalists -- one from NBC, another from the BBC, one from the Washington Post, I can't remember the fourth. Atilio had already given interviews in '85 to the New York Times, Le Monde and other foreign media.
"The Salvadoran press is a bit resentful," they told us. "You only talk to journalists from other countries."
It wasn't who we wanted to talk to, it was a question of security. A Salvadoran journalist could put himself in a tight spot if he came to do a live report on us. Anyhow, we figured it was up to them to cover their own asses, so we called a press conference right in Perquín, 'the rebel capital', as the journalists liked to call it. We sent out invitations -- personal ones, through our own channels -- to the director of YSU, the guy from KL, the TV news reporter, the anchor from the other channel, and the correspondents from UPI and the other news agencies. About fifteen local media and a few foreign ones were invited, and nearly all of them accepted gladly. They came up in a caravan and didn't even stop in Gotera to ask the army's permission. They showed up in Perquín happy as could be and bursting with curiosity.
The idea was to hold a press conference with the commanders first, and then let them witness a live Venceremos broadcast.
"We've got to publicise the station," Atilio told us. "In the coming period, the station is going to play a very important role."
"It's time you got known. Let your colleagues from the other media know your names, see your faces. Get rid of the station's grey image."
"So start by doing something about your looks!"