Of course journalism has a future!

Edgar Delgado Montoya

Reputation Leader, CCK

When I started writing this article, I went to Google and asked the search engine for the most recent articles on the future of journalism, to find out what were the freshest opinions on the subject and where the answers were focused.

I was not surprised to discover that the conclusions are the same ones I have heard for the last five or six years, so there is still no clear answer. Therefore, it is better to have a conversation about what journalism should continue to offer or what it should not give up.

But first, it is always good to review what the most current studies point to as the keys to the future of journalism. A previous January report by the Reuter Institute detailed five recommendations:

  1. Los medios de comunicación seguirán generando los contenidos, pero las plataformas controlarán el acceso de las audiencias.
  2. Las personas están utilizando ahora fuentes de información más diversas.
  3. La gente está cada vez menos interesada en las noticias.
  4. El modelo de negocio del periodismo es cada vez más débil: los ingresos de los medios impresos siguen cayendo y las entradas por canales digitales crecen lentamente.
  5. La presión por generar más noticias a través de más canales ha llevado a un crecimiento en el volumen del periodismo superficial, aunque sí hay ejemplos del buen periodismo: más objetivo, más accesible, más oportuno y de más interacción con las audiencias.

Many authors agree that the era of "free" journalism is over and generally take the example of the successful reinvention of the New York Times, which today receives 63% of its revenue from its readers and has 2.8 million digital subscribers. This confirms that people are willing to pay for quality journalism.

But, then, what is quality journalism? I do not dare to give a single answer, but I would like to point out some basics:

  • Audiences will always look for good stories, with a human face if possible, about successes and failures, and that generate a concrete and applicable teaching.
  • Audiences will always be interested in the economic and social situation of their country, but not in the data, but in the explanation of the trend and how it may affect them, and the possible solutions.
  • Audiences will appreciate a good systematization of data that explains a social, economic or political fact, as long as it shows them what the impact is and will be.
  • Audiences also need to relax, have fun, be entertained, play sports, travel and eat healthily and differently.
  • Audiences will always be interested in what is happening in their country and community but they are tired of empty political and ideological discussions.

It doesn't matter the type of media or the channel in which these stories travel, the important thing is to tell them in the best way and in the ideal format for our target audience.

Eliezer Budasoff, editorial director of The New York Times in Spanish, said it clearly: "In a world saturated with information, an author or reader who needs to be informed will turn to the media that offer well-written, well-reported, reliable content that will inform them of what is happening.