Going beyond the news

Mario Garcia is considered a guru of graphic design in both printed and digital media. He has transformed many headers, from old or contemporary, to be adapted to the accelerated changes which are demanded by modern audiences.

More than being an artist who redecorates spaces, he performs some kind of communications gourmet that’s appreciable and uses some styles that can dress any design with the elements that the new readers or users of different platforms prefer.

And based on his long experience as an aesthetic surgeon of the printed press and as a digital innovator, he has achieved a valuable understanding of the dynamics that, today, dominate and govern the ecosystem of social communications.

In his most recent conference at the SIP-Connect forum in Miami, which is the event organized every year by the Inter-American Press Association to encourage the printed newspapers to seize the digital media as much as possible, the admired guru presented some interesting reflections.

The one that seemed most eloquent, true and real to me, was when he said that the biggest challenge for the digital leverage of the printed media lays in the change of mentality.

That is, to convince traditional journalists that the old paradigms used in the languages ​​and practices of journalism have changed to make way for a model in which digital codes require the use of all platforms at the same time, each with its particular characteristics, in a provocative symbiosis.

Speaking as if it were a chef, Mario states that what is imposed now is to throw a lot of raw meat into the networks and then “cook” the news with the seasoning of high quality, truthfulness, verification and accuracy that can’t be achieved in the immediacy of the news that, at high speed, flows through the Internet.

In short, what he suggests is that we go beyond the news of the day, served and digested through digital turbines, looking for new angles or details to what has already been spoken.

This is, without doubt, a cyclopean effort, but not impossible. It’s enough to adjust the search procedures to follow the thread of the evolving events and give them a new dimension in the printed platform.

And for such thing there are tools like databases, expert analysis, complementary elements and acute approaches to the future, highlighting the possible consequences of these events.

The printed media still hold an arsenal of genres to give their readers something that goes beyond the news of the day. The challenge is to make a healthy crop with those genres and achieve an excellent differentiation from the other platforms.

But for this is required a good planning of the matters to deepen, in the conviction that printed media are no longer who share the news first, but those who contextualize them, those who know how to “cook” the raw meat that the different networks have digested, turning them into exquisite dishes.

As the legendary director of the Washington Post, Ben Bradlee, said: we must look for the meaning of what happens, because what happens is already told; every day, there are fewer stories that come out on paper for the first time…

These are the new premises imposed by the modernization of the social communications. To make the traditional journalists fully understand this, which in no way means abandoning the essence of journalism, which is to expose and interpret the facts, this being the real challenge that mister Mario Garcia has spoken to us about.

Therefore, a change of mentality and a greater “aggiornamento” without fears or hesitations, between the printed and digital media, is imposed.

– Translated from spanish by Randy Rodriguez.