For quite a long time, all news-hunting by the traditional media were subordinated to external agendas or official sources, a model that has now fallen into decline.
The daily routine of the newspapers, back then, consisted in sending most of their material to governmental offices, under the mindset that unforeseen events could occur in the streets and would force some coverage.
Being enslaved to that model, there was little room left for the media to decide, plan and execute their own look-outs, based on the needs of their audiences.
And the habit, almost an inescapable obligation, of stationing reporters in one or more official sources at once, not to miss any important announcement from a secretary or an official spokesman, limited the possibilities of leaving this frame.
This model led, in the end, to the saturation of a radio or television newscast and the content of the newspapers with a bunch of politicization and officialism.
Miguel Angel Bastenier, from Spain, who was a master of the exercise of journalism, once criticized those kinds of declarations as “mass publications that prove the immense preference of what people say over what people actually do, because it’s easier to just say, and because those who make statements from the high end do welcome them being reproduced through all sorts of media, which is how we produce newspapers as stone cold as the ice palace of Superman, on which many characters, one right after the other, keep leading the word, but lack physical and tangible reality, those words do not exist as subjects of action, because there won’t be authentic action anywhere”.
Times have changed and now the newspapers articulate their news based on a minimum of three pillars: the most latent events or problems of a society, journalistic investigations and the recycling of their databases.
To do this, editors and reporters hold morning meetings and decide where to look at for answers to the different situations that affect millions of people every day, without being tied to external agendas or obligations to centrate at public offices, killing time awaiting for official information.
The latter are widely disseminated through media used by the different public relations’ or press departments, which does not necessarily mean that they’re not interesting for the public.
Current mentalities and tools allow journalistic genres such as more sensitive interviews, reports, chronicles and analysis, which were somewhat neglected in the past, to acquire primacy and relevance to feed and enhance the diversity of content of all media.
That is precisely what we’re doing every day in the Listin Diario, to get in tune with the new codes of social communications.
– Translated from spanish by Randy Rodriguez.