Aging journalists at the forefront

It may seem curious, but the great thrust of digital adaptation has been the work of the oldest headlines of the traditional press.

Several of them, with more than a hundred years of journalism, are today successful models of digital journalism and, to a large extent, great beneficiaries of the monetization of their content and the harvests of their innovations.

A simple sample: The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, in the United States; The Guardian, in the UK; La Nacion, in Argentina; El Comercio, from Peru; El Tiempo, from Colombia, among others, with a tradition of more than a century, today lead digital audiences.

The virtue lies in the ability of these media to envision the routes of the future in time and masterfully handle two bets simultaneously: the updating of digital technology and the preservation of the values ​​of quality journalism in their printed matter.

By previewing the imminence of the new digital ecosystem, they did not hesitate to launch themselves into the decisive test of adaptation and transformation, without leaving the main matrix, the printed newspaper, also subject to the demands of redesigning its formats and its business models.

Today, its innovative digital formats capture the largest audiences on internet platforms, setting guidelines for the transformation of thousands of newspapers that aspire to replicate these successful models.

The keys to achieving this seem simple, but they are not enough by themselves. First you have to understand how a hybrid newsroom, or multimedia, is assembled, and how to harmonize two different cultures and languages ​​in the same ecosystem.

This has implied empowering “traditional” editors and reporters in the knowledge and use of digital tools and marking differentiating lines in their production rhythms and the nature of their content.

Ultimately, what is relevant is to recognize that thanks to the long experience of journalism, these centuries-old newspapers have been able to be the precursors of a change that transcended the limits of their formats and that they are now marching forward in the vanguard of transformations.

  • Translated from Spanish by Randy Rodriguez.

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