Category Archives: Entrevista , Interview

Video – Kiosk Diaries

I had to try out my new gear and I asked a few questions to Pedro Silva, the owner of a newsstand in one of the most typical squares in my city and author of the blog Diário de um Quiosque (Kiosk Diaries, in a loose translation), where he writes about media, it’s costumers and news.

There’s some wind in the audio and I realized I lack a few wide shots, butI was just taking the camera and the audio recorder for a spin. Need to do it more often.

I also used  universalsubtitles.org to create some subtitles in English, and I liked this tool a lot. Worth checking out.

Well, take a look and if you have any suggestions, ideas, evil remarks, be my guest.

 

%CODE1%

Video – Diário de um Quiosque – entrevista

O Pedro Silva é dono de um quiosque numa das praças mais típicas da minha cidade, e também autor do blog Diário de um Quiosque, onde, entre outras coisas, fala de jornais, dos clientes e de notícias. Como tinha que testar o meu equipamento novo fui-lhe chatear a cabeça com algumas perguntas.

O vídeo tem alguns problemas, particularmente por causa do vento, que acabou por eliminar  algumas das partes mais interessantes das respostas do Pedro, mas essa foi a primeira lição do teste: levar sempre a esponja do microfone. De resto, faltam planos, especialmente gerais, e do ambiente onde o quiosque está inserido.

Mas era um teste, por isso foi muito útil este bocado que passei à conversa com ele, coisa que normalmente fazemos, e sem ninguém estar a gravar (felizmente…).

Se tiverem críticas, sugestões ou ideias, estão à vontade.

PortugalDailyView.com: Portuguese news in English

English is the lingua franca of the internet, and we can miss a lot of content just because it’s in a different language. Add that to a lack of (proper) international coverage about some countries and we can easily find a market for new media organizations creating content for English speakers.

In Portugal, there is a new news website that tries to explore those circumstances and  show the country abroad from a local perspective. I interviewed Vitor Matos, the main editor at PortugalDailyView to find why someone should start a news website targetting international users, just by communicating in a foreign language.

Why start a Portuguese news website in English?

Try googling Portugal and a word in English and you will see why this is a good idea. All you get is Portuguese institutional information or information from an Anglo-Saxon point of view in foreign newspapers or websites. And then there is the current crisis: Portugal is in the eye of the hurricane and we thought that all this turmoil might in fact prove a good opportunity, because an English person or Japanese can’t read a Portuguese newspaper in order to find out what is going on.

Until now, there wasn’t really a Portuguese independent view about Portugal made by professional journalists available to foreigners, whether they are business people, tourists or those who need information about Portugal for work purposes. This was the main reason: to create a new type of service which up to now wasn’t available.

The second reason concerns Webtexto, the start up that five journalists founded in 2000 in the midst of the internet bubble. Nowadays we are only two partners, and we have always wanted to create our own project. The last eight years we have been working almost exclusively with the financial news agency Dow Jones Newswires: we make their news feeds in Portuguese and also contribute with articles.

Does Portugal need better international news coverage?

I would say yes, although sometimes I am surprised by the quality of some articles about the country. The question here is the perspective: this is not the perspective of an outsider who will inevitably consider his prejudices on the country before writing a story. We have background and insights in politics, economy, tourism and places to go, because we live here, we work here as journalists and we can provide some angles which are less obvious and types of information that might prove less accessible to foreign journalists.

Who’s on the team?

We are a small team of 14 people, including the six journalists working in the newsroom, along with contributors who work from the outside: travel journalists, copy desks, internet designers, and video reporters.

Blandina Costa, Webtexto partner and experienced economics journalist is the Executive Editor and she works full-time in the newsroom. I am the Editor-in-Chief, although I also work as a reporter in Sábado, which is a major Portuguese newsmagazine.

We try to balance the information in this way: stories about travelling, politics and news on the economic crisis and some sports (mainly football) and culture. We also have some associated bloggers who write at their own pace on many subjects, such as the economy, politics, surfing, football, literature and European politics, and we also want to have blogs on golfing, wines, food and music.

What is your business model?

First, we want revenues from advertising: Portuguese and foreign businesses that find this venture an interesting way of branding, because at the moment there are no Portuguese media where businesses can communicate with foreigners who are interested in finding out more about the country.

We also have long term projects to sell our own e-books online, or tourist audio guides to platforms such as iPod, iPhone or iPad.

What are your mid-term goals?

A country with 10 million people like Portugal receives something like 12 million tourists every year. Today, no one travels without googling something about the country you are about to visit. So, in the mid-term, we would like to have at least half of these people accessing Portugal Daily View in search of useful and curious information, but also all those who are planning on coming here, or that are just curious about a certain Portuguese football player, a fado singer or a Portuguese business.

In the long term, we want to be the main window for people to access information on Portugal, which you can open in Tokyo, Sydney, Stockholm or London.

Why launch a news product like this now? Are these good times to invest in journalism?

These are not good times to invest in journalism, but as journalists we wouldn’t invest in anything else. This said, I think this crisis is a great opportunity to launch a news product with these specificities.

 

I’ve been defending that Portuguese media should have at least a digest of news in English, specially after reading lots of innacurate news about the country in foreign media. It’s not just about the market, but also to provide a closer perspective on the Portuguese reality.

What do you think? Can this be a good solution for media groups and news startups?

Decline in print and rise in online journalism: an interview

Once again I was asked by a student to answer a few questions about Online Journalism. Devina Morjaria is a final year student writing a dissertation regarding decline in print and rise in online journalism, one of my favorite subjects. There are a few good questions here and some not so bad answers.

 

1)   As an online journalist do you feel that there has been a decline in print journalism and rise in online journalism since the millennium?

The steady decline of print journalism begun in the late eighties, long before online journalism had a real expression. The problem is that that decline became more clear as digital journalism started to become more common and users had better access to the Internet. In my view, there is not a real correlation between the rise of one and the fall of the other. Print journalism was already failing before online journalism took its place in our everyday lives.

2)   Either way why do you think that this is the case?

I can only guess, but probably print was failing to deliver quality content for a long time. Besides, the widespread use of cable tv and rolling 24 hour news channels made the product less interesting, we got on the front pages what we saw live the night before. Online journalism made that problem even more acute, with users checking news more often through out the day, losing the morning paper or the evening news ritual. The print product is pretty much the same as it was 20, 30, 40 years ago, it is not well adapted to these new circumstances, therefore it needs to be re-thought and re-designed. But that is not really happening.

3)   What makes you more inclined towards online journalism than print?

Online journalism allows journalists and users to create/consume stories using different and new types of languages and features. Multimedia and Interactivity are two essential characteristics of this medium, and if we add social tools it becomes a whole new ball game. Access is also important, I can read/watch/listen news from thousands of news brands around the world. Geography is no longer a limit, but a parameter.

4)   Some say newspapers will be dead in 10 years time. What do you think?

I think many will be, unless they re-think and take the most of their natural news cycle and out of their support, paper. Magazinification of newspapers is an option, with more in depth analysis, more opinion, giving more space to good writing and relying on better visuals. They have to be more original and stand out from the ever shrinking crowd, and become stronger in their viewpoints and personality, instead of feeding readers with the same stuff the competition does. Less fast food, more gourmet. But this depends on the markets they’re in and on how much they can invest.

5)   Is the online sector currently facing any problems like the print sector?

From my experience, the whole industry is going through an identity crisis. Except for a few media groups, many don’t have a defined strategy to cope with the new demands the online brought. In the last years we saw journalists being fired left and right when there is the need for more people with more skills in the newsrooms. This affects not only the online production but also print. Good journalism is affected too, with not enough time for journalists to do their best. So quality goes down either in print or online. So, in a way, they both face the same problem, which is basically the lack of solid strategies, the short term thinking of media group boards, and the us vs them (print vs online) mentality, that is still all too common.

6)   Do you feel that for a print newspaper company to introduce an online section it invites a hit in sales in newspapers?

Well, you have to be online these days. Unless ALL your readers don’t use the internet you have to have an online presence. If both products are good there is the chance they will both benefit from it.

7)   What do you think about paywalls? Do you feel that they are necessary in today’s society?

Paywalls are a tricky subject, it works for some, but not for most. I believe original, unique, highly effective content can become a commodity, but not everyday news. Media companies gather and process information. Somewhere in the middle of that there are ways to make money, other than establishing a paywall. I think most of paywalls are useless and a shot in the foot.

8)   What is the online sectors main source of news?

Reality? Nowadays we see more international news, and more social network based information, but whatever is news (relevant for a meaningful number of people) gets online.

9)   Is there an increase in online advertising?

According to something I read recently, yes, but it’s a marketing logic: go sell your product where people are. That’s why news stands are in the streets, and we see thousands of posters, outdoors,leaflets and every other type of ads anywhere we go. And if people are online…

10) What do you think holds for the future of journalism?

The best times for journalism are yet to come and for me there has never been a better time to be a journalist than now. The full possibilities are still being discovered, and there are so many ways to transmit information and tell stories, with a better understanding on the part of the users, that have more rich and meaningful experiences consuming them.

_______________________

 

Please, disagree with me in the comment box. Thank you

O futuro do impresso e outras perguntas para as quais dou as respostas possíveis

Volta e meia tenho alguns estudantes de jornalismo a enviarem-me perguntas para fazerem trabalhos académicos. Se entram em contacto comigo é por recomendação dos professores (creio eu), logo não tenho grandes problemas em responder, já que a minha opinião vale o que vale: às vezes digo umas coisas giras, outras vezes nem por isso. Mas tento sempre contribuir para uma melhor nota destes alunos, e como ainda me lembro dos meus tempos de estudante tento ser o mais útil possível.

Desta vez foram duas alunas do Instituto Superior Miguel Torga que entraram em contacto comigo, e que levantaram algumas questões para os seus projectos escolares. Como ando um bocado ocupado, cá vão as respostas neste post. Espero que sejam úteis e que não saia grande asneira. As duas primeiras respostas são para as duas, já que perguntaram-me essencialmente o mesmo.

Acha que perante a evolução que o jornalismo  online está a registar, os jornais tradicionais vão sobreviver?

Esse é o erro, achar que há um jornalismo tradicional e um jornalismo que é a sua antítese. O que existe é um modelo de produção baseado numa plataforma e que está estabelecido – o impresso – e que se confunde com jornalismo. Jornalismo é uma actividade, um jornal em papel é uma plataforma assim como a sua versão digital, e os conteúdos é que deveriam ser tidos em conta quando se fala de “jornalismo”.

O processo jornalístico no fundo não varia em 95% da sua totalidade de um meio para o outro, é preciso perceber ainda o que é notícia, como verificar a informação, tratá-la, validá-la. Os outros 5% são a forma como transmitimos esses conteúdos, que podem ser num texto estático em papel ou online, ou usando narrativas digitais. Cada uma destas formas de transmissão de conteúdos têm características próprias,  riquezas e propriedades únicas que não definem a qualidade do jornalismo efectuado.

Esta comparação é sempre feita entre jornais em papel e os formatos digitais e nunca com a televisão ou a rádio, dois meios com narrativas mais próximas do potencial do online e que ninguém questiona se vão desaparecer ou não. Isso é porque se pensa no digital como uma duplicação do que está no papel, e os formatos e linguagens que podemos usar ultrapassam largamente o texto. Como as linguagens da televisão e da rádio são dinâmicas não se questiona tanto a sua sobrevivência,  mas o risco é igual para todos.

No fundo, acredito que o meio, a forma como as notícias são transmitidas, é muito importante mas não é essencial. É preciso repensar os meios tradicionais de forma a que forneçam o que o online não pode transmitir, e que permita aos consumidores terem experiências ricas de consumo de informação, dentro das características próprias do suporte. Os meios tradicionais que consigam fazer isso irão sobreviver. Mas é preciso que estejam cientes da lógica do online e das suas potencialidades e, acima de tudo, das suas diferenças em relação aos formatos existentes.

Na sua opinião, que modelos de comunicação têm de adoptar os media tradicionais perante o digital?

Acima de tudo, não copiar outros modelos e transferi-los para o digital. Não fazer televisão para o online mas narrativas video que sigam a lógica do ambiente digital, nem copiar o papel para o digital mas fazer algo que use o potencial do digital, nem que seja a utilização de links, o nível mais básico de implementação de ferramentas online para um texto. Os modelos de comunicação têm que ter em conta os factores de interactividade, interacção social – partilha, recomendação, participação – e a utilização de linguagens dinâmicas.

Cada meio tem características próprias, se os respeitam nos formatos que conhecem, porque não respeitar as características do meio digital?


Quais são os casos, jornais tradicionais, na sua opinião que correm sérios riscos de no futuro encerrar edição?

É uma pergunta à qual não quero responder. Quando falamos de encerramentos estamos a falar de pessoas que vão perder o emprego, muitas vezes já precário, e não gosto de falar disso, o mercado de trabalho está mal preparado para esta evolução que foi ignorada pelas direcções (e que continua a ser em alguns sítios). Pode haver é uma aposta prioritária no online, como no caso do Público, que recentemente reforçou a sua equipa, duplicando o número de jornalistas da redacção online, mas isso não significa que haja publicações a fechar, mas apenas a reinventar-se para o meio digital.

Havia uma espécie de bolsa de apostas informal onde se apontavam alguns nomes de publicações que podiam fechar, mas de acordo com algumas previsões isso já deveria ter acontecido no ano passado. Felizmente  não aconteceu, mas muitas estão em situações complicadas. Espero que estejam a ser definidas estratégias sensatas e realistas para que se possa enfrentar o futuro de forma mais pragmática e optimista.

Não vou apontar nomes. Tenho respeito a quem trabalha no duro todos os dias em condições difíceis, e que está no jornalismo porque gosta da profissão, e estaria a faltar a esse respeito se indicasse algum caso em particular.

_________________________________________________

E é isto. Espero que as minhas ideias sejam úteis. Mas queria deixar uma nota: eu estou disponível para ajudar no que for preciso, mas por favor, não me enviem logo perguntas de rajada sem me dizerem para o que é ou porquê. E se não puder responder não fiquem chateados, neste momento sou um gajo bastante ocupado, e às vezes não dá mesmo para nada. Se forem simpáticos, partilhem os resultados do vosso trabalho comigo, muitas vezes não sei qual foi o destino das minhas respostas.

Obrigado por se terem lembrado de mim, e boa sorte, que é uma coisa que não acontece se não fizermos por ela.