The news of today expire sooner than in previous times. The flood of information disseminated through social media is so beyond measure that it’s impossible for the human brain to store and process them at the same speed that they come and go.
In order to not become intoxicated with them, users don’t have any other alternative than to dedicate the minimum reading-time possible to each and every one of the news events as long as they become satisfied enough with the basics and at such immediacy.
But at the bottom, and at the sides, a news episode has more aspects that superficiality and immediacy overlook and, in essence, those can nourish a set of unknown but interesting stories.
Since digital news expire so fast, the opportunities to increase their “life expectancies” lie in the good reports that journalists can make of these relevant events with in-depth stories that help explain, understand and present them in just their real context, so then they can measure better repercussions.
That’s why traditional media prioritize, nowadays, this journalistic genre that seemed cloistered, as an antidote against the quick expiration of news that can be categorized as brief, pure and simple, which is emblematic of digital media, and in this way they rescue the intrinsic riches of the stories, testimonies, human experiences and other nice details that were left behind and overwhelmed by superficiality.
One of the greatest defenders of the model of reviving the chronicles, within the exercise of high-quality journalism, is the Colombian journalist Alberto Salcedo Ramos, instructor of the new Ibero-American Journalism foundation, who clarifies that chronicles do not replace the news because the news’ purpose is to report a fact as soon as it happens.
Salcedo Ramos advises that when the mere registration of a news event does not fulfill any desire, because the audiences already know about it, “what’s next is to discover some new stories that help us narrate it all”.
“When you read a news event, with much attention, you discover in it possible stories to make chronicles with, and if you read a chronicle that is well redacted you will find in it data and information that weren’t really known at all”.
Naturally, the chronicles aren’t just some privileges or exclusive resources of the traditional press, on the contrary, they can be great forts for what we call digital journalism, but only if audiovisual tools are properly taken advantage of, as in if they’re properly mixed with well-articulated texts, so that the demands of this genre are met.
Printed newspapers have the extraordinary advantage, by cultivating the chronicle, of displaying their skills through the combined handling of many genres at once, such as reports, interviews, novel techniques or storytellings, among others, and by producing large stories for the day-after, which more than often remain hidden in the fast-flowing news torrent of the digital sphere.
– Translated from Spanish by Randy Rodriguez.