Shel of the quite interesting Global Neighborhoods blog has a post about Ignacio Escribano & the Argentine citizen journalism/social media site Igooh (a subsidiary of La Nación). (I must admit that I’ve not seen Igooh before now, somehow I’ve missed it but I’m going to take a closer look at it).
Shel has this to say:
“In fact, my conversations with Ignacio have demonstrated that revolutions move at different paces in different places. No US journalist laughs at or disdains the impact of social media. There are no traditional media companies dismissing what’s happening on line as a passing adolescent fad anymore. When I met Ignacio and Eduardo Lomanto, a business executive for La Nacion, back in July, they were both shocked, when I said that I doubted there would be many metropolitan dailies printing papers five years from today and many would simply be out of business. Their mouths opened in harmony when I said many people doubted that either the Boston Globe or San Francisco Chronicle could survive through 2007…..My free-for-what-it’s-worth advice to Latin American and for that matter European media companies is to pay very close attention to what is happening to traditional US media companies.”
Having just returned from the U.S. I agree that U.S. newspapers are no longer relevant. I found the Nashville Tennessean to be worth nothing. And as a former resident of Miami I also can say that the Miami Herald always was disappointing.
But in Buenos Aires I feel very different about the newspapers, which I look forward to reading everyday. When I moved here I started out reading Clarín but eventually changed to buying La Nación on most days, though I still read Clarín whenever I go to a café and a copy is lying around. Oddly, online, I always go to clarin.com, which I check daily, rather than lanacion.com. And on Sunday’s I buy Perfil as well as the BA Herald (mostly for the reprinted articles from the NY Times).
My choice of newspapers is rather odd since my political slant is probably closer to Clarín’s but I particularly like La Nación’s interviews with intellectuals of the world (e.g., Tzvetan Todorov). Then there are the weekly supplements, like Ã‘, which I adore. (I’ve not yet checked out La Nación’s competing supplement, ADN).
As a reader, I find the Buenos Aires newspapers to be a lot more relevant than U.S. newspapers. While I’m quite an advocate of the changes brought about digital media, I’m not sure that the trajectory being experienced by U.S. newspapers can be applied to newspaper in Buenos Aires, where the papers are relevant because they still provide good content. Is the decline of newspapers in the U.S. attributable primarily to the rise of digital media or the increasing absence of quality content in the newspapers? Buenos Aires is an intellectually vibrant city and I just don’t see the major newspapers here fading away anytime soon.
Having said all that, I do think that there is a very bright digital media future in Buenos Aires. Most porteños I know are as adept at Internet technologies as their counterparts in the U.S.