Alfonso Nieto died yesterday in Pamplona (Spain) but his legacy as a person, friend, writer, thinker, mentor and leader will last for many years.
He was the absolute force behind the development of Journalism education in Spanish universities.
During his time as president of the University of Navarre we founded INNOVATION.
We learned from him many lessons and one of them was that “nothing is more practical than a good theory.”
Alfonso Nieto was a close friend of the late Leo Bogart, a founding director of INNOVATION.
Like Leo, he was a man of good manners, many friends, sharp mind and highly educated.
Both loved books and libraries.
And both loved newspapers.
But both were very critical about poor media business management.
Without credibility, values and compelling service to readers, advertisers, audiences and communities, press and media were “cathedrals without soul”.
Alfonso Nieto was a pioneer in news media management education.
He saw very early, in the 1980′s, the big role and future of free newspapers and wrote a seminal book on this matter.
When I went to New York’s Columbia Journalism School as a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in 1978, his frequent letters to me during that year were always inspirational, challenging and really friendly.
A few months ago I got in the UK his last one, saying that he missed the Hay-on-Wye bookshelves!
They too, and all of us.
Don Alfonso, we will miss you very much.
Tags: Alfonsop Nieto, Ford Foundation, Journalism education, Leo Bogart, New York, innovation