Connecting with the people (Echoes of SIP-Connect 2019)

When printed newspapers carried the monopoly of information, the methods of measuring and knowing their audiences were very limited.

The elementary parameters of readership were based on the number of copies in circulation and an average estimate of those who could read a copy, or that of the subscribers, who were regularly consulted to know which news or sections they preferred.

With the turn towards the digital platforms, audience measurements have become much more precise, thanks to algorithms that can quantify the times a reader sees or reproduces content, the topics that usually hook them and even the levels of loyalty or continuity that paying subscribers have towards the contents’ headers or titles.

This information obliges the media to strive for a closer relationship, with more empathy, between society and its environment. In the words of Gaston Roitberg, director of digital content of the newspaper La Nacion, of Argentina, an exponent in the fifth SIP-Connect Technology Conference 2019, “it is necessary to look for the consumer at the platform of his preference”.

That is why La Nacion and other large newspapers promote the direct and live participation of citizens in the analysis of events, allow their editors to interact with the public and explain the results of their news searches, often through available emails.

In the opinion of Eduardo Tessler, from Porto Alegre, Brazil, and where his workshop partner, Chus del Roo, from La Rioja, Spain, the priority of the media, now that they reach more audiences, is to “resume the connection with the people, go out and open the windows of communication to the citizens so they can see reality”.

The competition is now based on the ability to reach people and listen to them. “You have to go where people are connected”, said Michael Greenspon of The New York Times.

“Our business is to connect, connect and connect. We do not have borders that prevent us from getting to where the public is”, said Cynthia Hudson, senior vice president and general manager of CNN in Spanish, a woman who doesn’t settle with just holding that position but actually works hard with the personnel to help them with any task that involves editorial content, programming, production or direction.

Modern newsrooms are multidisciplinary and the whole team works in an integrated way to take the news to all platforms, without the classic islands of power that the traditional newsrooms used to set up.

– Translated from Spanish by Randy Rodriguez.