Four-eyed standing

Since 80’s TVs began to use multiple elements on the screen at once, the human eyes and brain had to optimize their skills to assimilate, in an instant, such diversity of images, process them critically and form an accurate vision of the latent reality.

A video broadcasted in real time along with a moving text bar, a few extra live or overlayed images related or not to the news, an infographic table or some sort of map, are all part of this diversity in the daily life of the television platform.

Brief news, accompanied with graphic elements, animated or not, are the forerunner of what today constitutes the usual format of social media, whom provide news and information of another kind, under these very patterns.

Television consumers are as worthy as social media consumers. But users who seek the digital model do so because of its encapsulation, a multivitamin tablet that promises you to be all caught up with the world in up to thirty minutes, in the most demanding cases.

Here we should put emphasis on the fact that we mustn’t confuse “real” reality with “artificial” reality, the latter being constructed out of fragmented and assembled facts and images that would fulfill a function of synthesis about some unique event and its collaterals, as if that was enough to represent the pure reality.

The tendency to favor that news capsule containing still or moving images, text, voice and sound, supported by technological resources for editing, which allow editors to add extra elements that have the ability to impress and stimulate the eyes and brain of the consumer, is what dominates, today, on these digital platforms.

We must understand these dynamics, in order to discover how complex the challenge poses to be for all journalists who are immersed in the turbulence of changes, which consists in the migration to a multiplatform model in the ecosystem of social communications.

The current paradigm of integrated redaction, which unifies the job of journalists working for a printed newspapers with those of the digital platforms, is not fulfilled by simply recycling or transferring the news from one platform to the other, instead it requires different styles and presentations for both cases, almost as if we were to play the same song twice, but one time with a violin and the other one with a guitar.

Therefore this creates, for us traditional journalists, the obligation to know the models for presenting texts and videos at the same time, or narrating didactic stories about certain topics through podcasts, which are characteristic of social media.

Without being digital natives, as in people born under the latest generations that heavily involve the usage of digital communications, we have to make an effort to resemble as much as possible to such “natives”, by trying to master their codes.

With these new tools at hand, mainly smartphones and tablets, the journalists of the integrated newsrooms shouldn’t divert too much to the point where they forget that our model for structuring the news still exists, which features no hurries for publishing something, instead it continues to give merit and priority to the verification and adequate contextualization of the integrity of the content itself.

It’s a kind of sauna, where you have to shower with both hot and cold water, intermittently, without stunning ourselves. Definitely not a simple task.

When wanting to consume any of the printed platforms, two eyes can surely do the job. However, when it comes to audiovisual platforms, four eyes is what really suffices.

– Translated from spanish by Randy Rodriguez.