The printed and digital world, two different bets

Although they converge as twin platforms in a single newsroom, the bets for each platform are very different and the success of the editors comes from identifying which contents mark the strengths for each format.

We’re clear about this premise: the newspapers no longer monopolize the information nor can they aspire to be the first to deliver them.

That capacity belongs to the digital media, constituted in a turbine that operates 24 hours a day emanating all breaking news, following their development and recycling them through social media, as the alluvial currents of a river.

The strength of the printed news, nowadays, lies in the better selection of the dominant news topics of the day, according to their importance and level of attraction, also to their level of contextualization, which means deepening them with three key enhancers: the analysis, the assembly of data, and an appropriate special journalistic genre, that is either the chronicle or reporting mode, depending on the nature of the facts.

So far, these dynamics do not come together perfectly, because in the multiplatform newsrooms, two mentalities that must be coupled coexist: those who are told to keep most active the digital turbines and those who are focused in the preparation of optimal physical editions.

This is one of the greater dilemmas in the transformation of the printed media, because the coupling of these mentalities doesn’t always occur at the same speed and time.

While digital journalists surrender to their endless task of spreading, bit by bit, what happens with the world, those of the printed media are compelled to test all their ingenuity and creativity to achieve what we’ve called “the journalism of the day after”, with content novelties not necessarily with a pure and simple repetition of the ones that the digital media produced the previous day.

It’s here that the genres of the analysis, report and chronicle, adequately accompanied by infographics and illustrative resources and a reasonable dosage of text, so as not to cause fatigue or disinterest to the readers, take on a capital importance in the new and deeper approach of the possible causes and consequences of an episode that the audience already partially knew thanks to the digital platforms.

Achieving this is no easy feat, because it involves changing the work routines and adapting the search strategies to the consumption habits of the readers, who now have mobile phones to more easily find out about the news and their evolution in an hourly basis, however, these readers are usually the same people who won’t disregard the credible and reliable source that the printed media represent, which are subject to the rigor of the norms of a professional journalism, thanks to which the paid subscriptions or memberships grow exponentially, thus further supporting the sustainability of the production of contents and their high level of depth and overall quality.

– Translated from Spanish by Randy Rodriguez.