Ten Ideas to Build
a New Media Outlet
By Chani Guyot
The overabundance of information generates noise and is dazzling. Every day, media outlets in Buenos Aires publish more than 1000 articles online, which makes the habit of being an informed citizen an obstacle race. Moreover, the obsession over digital ratings is seriously damaging the quality of journalism and its relationship with audiences.
We need an antidote against infoxication.
The jungle of digital news
demands a GPS
There are compelling narratives being published online every day, powerful stories and intelligent columns that help us understand what happens and why. The problem is that these stories often get buried under the urgency and volume of the latest statement or scandal.
We need a GPS that will help us navigate the vast ocean of news without getting shipwrecked.
The excess of negativity
is disconnecting us
Cynicism in journalism has gone too far. Of course we need journalists that exercise the role of a watchdog, but this excess in negativity becomes a machine that discourages citizenship. The ones who tolerate this, turn into spectators, and the ones who don’t, disconnect themselves — from media outlets and reality.
We need a more balanced perspective to reconnect with our audience, to regain its trust, and encourage participation.
The digital narrative continues
to be filmed theatre
When film was born, the first movies were filmed theatre, and it took a few years for the new medium to develop its own language. The same happens with our digital journalism. We are still learning how to produce quality journalism for the phone’s screen.
We need more experimentation and learning in the main platform of the present.
We are responsible for
the consequences of our journalism
Journalism was born with a purpose, with mystic, with political, ideological and social sense. It was also born with a sense of responsibility. We need to take charge of the impact our journalism has on society and on people. Today, there’s an excess of data in digital journalism, and there’s a lack of reflection, depth, and closeness. There is a need for more unique and diverse journalism that makes a difference.
We need a more empathetic journalism that learns to put itself in the place of others and that takes responsibility.
We need to blow up
the frontiers of the newsroom
Endogamy is possibly one of the main obstacles stopping journalism from moving forward in its necessary transformation. In an open society, closed newsrooms only worsen their sustainability problems.
We need to blow up frontiers and build a way to co-create journalistic value hand in hand with our audiences and other social actors. The goal is to abandon the unidirectional logic and embrace the logic of the network.
Paper is not dead
In 50 years, there will still be print journalistic products. And they won’t be much different from the ones that successfully exist today in some parts of the world. But the generalist newspapers (everything for everyone) will perform that role in the digital environment.
We need new print products that are fundamentally different in order to avoid the interruptive nature of screens and banners, and feed the irreplaceable and private pleasure of immersing oneself into reading.
Advertisement is dead
For many more years to come, parts of the journalism industry will continue to subsist from advertisement. But that sun has already set. We are living in the 8 minutes and 20 seconds that its light takes to reach us. In the way that it’s conceived today, advertisement has become another source of “infoxication”.
We need new media organizations that have the courage to search for new business models and innovative ways to relate to brands. And brands and businesses that have the courage to connect with its audiences in a new way.
We need journalists that know how to answer the question: why am I a journalist? I’m a journalist because I’m interested in learning and understanding, and because there are stories (dark or bright) that deserve to be told. These stories teach us and speak to us as a society and individuals; they help us understand the world and understand ourselves, provoke happiness or sadness and awaken our indignation or compassion. They act as a mirror and as the personal and collective voice of our dreams. We need them because these stories make us more human.
I am a journalist because I believe that journalism isn’t only a tool to report on the world, but also to change it.
A media outlet is
a community of communities
A media outlet of the 21st century is, first of all, a community of communities. It is, all at once, a voice and an interpreter of its readers; defense lawyer and prosecutor; a tool of cohesion with capacity to question common sense. Such media organization listens to the concerns of its community, collaborates from its journalism by identifying its challenges, and provides the intellectual and material tools to take on these challenges. A media outlet from the 21st century is fundamentally an articulator of its community’s conversation. In fluid and fast times, a media outlet of the 21st century must help its readers look up, and be a platform of intellectual discovery, debate, participation, and belonging.
RED/ACCIÓN is, primarily, a great essay to translate these ideas into a media outlet of the 21st century.