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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

JOURNALISM 101 ACCORDING TO JUAN LUIS CEBRIAN

Juan Luis Cebrian, CEO of Grupo PRISA and first editor of EL PAIS (Madrid, Spain) said in Mexico City, during the Inter American Press Association (SIP) annual conference, some basic truths:

1. Newspapers can not survive just telling news that always deliver late.

2. Newspapers will not die if they are able to promote collective reflection and dialogue,

3. Newspaper publishers and editors spend too much time looking to themselves.

4. Newspapers are under the attack of Internet and free publications.

And when one person in the audience asked him "What journalists have to do?" his response was: "Journalism."

I agree 100%

Journalism.

Because our main problem is this: we spend 90% of our time in front of computers, reading and processing information and propaganda produced by external sources that at the end of the day control and direct our agendas.

What newspapers need is Journalism.

What journalists need to do is just Journalism.

What readers expect from us is Journalism.

What this is not what we do and what we deliver.

Well, I am writing a chapter about how newspapers have to be different, that the Spanish Newspaper Publishers Association (AEDE)is going to publish in its annual White Paper about the State of the Industry, and these are some of my initial ideas:

1. Newspapers must become the core of 24/7 breaking news information engines.

2. Newspapers must deliver unique, compelling and exclusive news and stories, and not just package old stuff.

3. Newspapers must hire the most talented, respected and curious reporters and editors with multi-media skills.

4. Newspapers must promote dramatic interaction with readers and advertisers.

5. Newspapers must make money. Money brings independence. With independence you get credibility. Credibility brings readers. Readers attract advertising. And with advertising you make money. As simple and as complicated as that.

6. Newspapers must believe in Journalism. Period.

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