These Eastsiders rely on bikes – not blogs – to cover the news

Many Eastside residents cannot afford Internet service at home, leaving them to rely on print for news and information. That may explain why The Voice’s circulation has grown to 20,000 from 16,000 and the number of pages from about 8 to 12.

“Sometimes during the first year of our existence I was wondering if anyone was reading the paper. If anyone was getting it,” said Morales during an interview in his paper’s small office, which is dominated by his two bikes. “Then we started receiving more and more phone calls. Now people know to come to us when they don’t get results somewhere else.”

Yet, The Voice generates barely enough money to cover its printing and operating expenses, leaving Morales and Cabrera to live simply. That why in part Morales puts 250 miles a month on his bike – it keeps his expenses low and the paper afloat. Despite the gloomy financial outlook, Morales plans to keep reporting and biking.

“What happens in the community is very important to me,” Morales said. “So maybe that’s why I’m so passionate about what I’m writing about.”

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