Tomas Ondarra, on the media crisis

Image from Imagen Vasca

Another of the conferences of the World Summit of Press Design in Córdoba was Tomás Ondarra, graphics editor at El País, the most important spanish newspaper. He talked about the media crisis nad, particularly, the crisis of infographics.
I just took note of the main ideas, so these are not quotes, just ideas:
  • Our newspapers are going down... and it looks as if we don't care

  • In the firsts days of the free newspapers everybody said that they were the futuro and the traditional media were about to dead. And lokk what happened with the free press

    Note: In Spain, the crisis is hitting much harder the free press than the traditional paid media.

  • Soitu (a spanish just-online news site) closed some days ago. and its director, Sindo, had always talked about the end of the print media. But the crisis is something that is affecting everybody, not just print media.

  • Which are the differences between print and online? The constant updating? The online media do not update everything...

  • Is the animated graphic the modern way? They move too much, they come late and many are jut encyclopedics, or better said, 'wikipedics'

  • We don't care about the news of the day nowadays. We just go for the big ones, for those that could be awarded

  • We use many times a bigg illustration with the data on the side. But we do it on the sports pages. We don't do it in the economy section. If the formula doesn't work on both, it means that that isn't a good way of doing things.

  • Now, with The New York Times style ruling, the infoilustration is over. The new multimedia graphics don't have to look for animation, but for interactivity.

  • There are many news infographics gurus, but they don't work in newsrooms. And there are no infographics subjects in the spanish universities.

  • I don't send works to the awards, I just do it if my department or my director ask me to do so. The first Peter Sullivan Award (the top award at Malofiej) was given to Time Magazine, for a graphic they copied for The New York Times. These years, Jaume Serra was revolutioning infographics. And he never got a Peter Sullivan.

  • If you got friends in the jury, is easy not to lose. They don't look at the sources or the dates. They look to the big things, the beautiful. If Sullivan came out of the grave, they would forbid the awards.


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