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City Island journalist starts online newspaper

City Island has a new web-based paper that is updated daily by an experienced journalist.

Roberto Soto, a City Island resident for the past 15 years and the first news director of News 12 The Bronx, started City Island Images from his Fordham Street apartment about two months ago.

Soto has made the online paper free and he updates it every morning by 9 a.m. He has also added news from beyond City Island, news happening beyond the bridge but that is of interest to the people who call the nautical community home, he said.

“I had a lot of friends in the media business who would come to visit me on City Island and they learned that the local paper here only publishes 10 times year,” Soto said. “They told me that since I was a journalist, I should start a publication that can be updated 10 times a day.”

The items that appear on City Island Images, which can be found online at www.cimages.me, vary greatly from items such as the recent homecoming of Afghanistan veteran and islander Mario Ayala, to the local scene, like happenings at the Bartow Pell Mansion or the recent Bronx Salsa Festival. National and international news are also part of City Island Images.

“I publish my own stories, which are of interest to City Islanders, and then I search for stories by news outlets such as the New York Post, New York Daily News, Associated Press, Reuters, and New York Times that would be of interest to the community.”

Soto had recently been the Bureau Chief for Associated Press Television News before taking early retirement and a buyout, and since then has been teaching and doing media consulting through his own company, Imaginus.

He has previously worked at the Washington Post, NBC, Voice of America, Univision and as an executive at Telemundo, News 12, and the Associated Press.

The website continues to grow in popularity, something that Soto attributes to the inquisitive nature of City Islanders.

“Every week, according to the stats, I am getting at least 100 to 200 new hits on the City Island Images site,” Soto said. “I believe that it is gaining popularity because I have realized that City Islanders are intelligent people who want to learn more about the world around them, including stories that take place in the Bronx, around the country, or even the world.”

Soto said that the reason that he does not limit the news content to just the Island, and allows for anyone to comment on the articles he posts, is because the Internet and mass communication have broken down barriers that previously existed and made the world a more interconnected place.

“We need to get passed the mentality that if the article doesn’t say ‘dateline City Island,’ that it is not relevant,” Soto said.

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CNG: Community Newspaper Group