Friday, September 30

The anniversary festival kicks off: “You have to be very transparent with readers”

The tenth anniversary festival of has kicked off in Valencia with a discussion moderated by the deputy director of María Ramírez on journalism (in spite of everything). On the esplanade of the Plaza del Ayuntamiento de Valencia, with hundreds of attendees, the stage hosted a debate in which Ignacio Escolar, director of; Katharine Viner, director of Guardian; Maurizio Molinari, director of The Republicand María O’Donnell, director and announcer at Urbana Play FM.

Ignacio Escolar has welcomed those attending the tenth anniversary celebrations claiming information beyond the M30 in Madrid. The journalist María Ramírez, deputy director of the newspaper, has recalled 2012 as the year of layoffs, losses and “disorientation” in the media sector. However, a decade after the birth of, the main novelty for its director, Ignacio Escolar, is the “involvement of readers”. “This dependency on readers is greatly affecting the way information is produced,” says Escolar.

The Argentine journalist María O’Donnell, director of Urbana Play FM, has described the enormous speed of technological change and has denounced the “temptation of demagoguery”. “He in spite of everything [en referencia al lema de] it is that this type of more classic journalistic undertakings have to be defended in a more complex jungle”, warned O’Donnell.

For his part, the director of The Republic, Maurizio Molinari, has also reflected (just three days before the Italian elections in which the extreme right can take power) on the “rise of populism”, movements “very aggressive and dangerous for democracy”. “Now we have a more complex and more aggressive environment, with more fear,” he added. “Digital information means responsibility, each piece of information must have a very high quality,” adds Molinari.

The director of Guardian, Katharine Viner, has defended investigative journalism, the role of women in directing the media and having journalists and specialists on the ground in war contexts such as the one in Ukraine. “We have to say what we know and what we don’t know and be very open when we’re wrong,” Viner said. “We have to be very transparent with our readers,” says the director of Guardian.

Another of the axes of the round table has been the business model of membership subscriptions. “If you don’t pay for the information, you are not the client, you are the merchandise”, explained Ignacio Escolar. “Journalism that readers don’t pay for is paid for by someone else, on many occasions against the interests of the readers,” he stressed. Director of The Republic He referred to the new role of readers in the subscription model: “Digital information allows more and more people to be part of the news cycle because they can interact and have a conversation with us”.

The model is not easy. Ignacio Escolar explained that when uncovered the Cristina Cifuentes master’s degree scandal, 10,000 new members jumped on the bandwagon. On the other hand, when he uncovered the irregularities of the master’s degree of the then socialist minister, Carmen Montón (who also presented her resignation after the investigations of this newspaper), there were 25 casualties of partners. Nothing serious but a sample of the complex dynamics between partners and readers and the newspaper.

“We journalists have to explain ourselves to our readers and the community of partners that support us, explaining how it works helps people trust the media,” says Escolar, who recalls that has no debts and the owners are the journalists. who founded it. “We are independent because half of our income depends on our readers,” he added.

Watch the full conversation here:

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