Last May in Bagnaia (Siena), a two-day conference on the theme “Growing Between the Lines” took place. It is an undertaking that, for some years, has been dedicated to the issues of publishing and journalism in the new digital era. Publishers and editors of the most important American and Italian newspapers participated, including Jeff Bewes (CEO, Time-Warner), Davan Maharaj (Editor, Los Angeles Times), Dean Baquet (Executive Editor, New York Times) Pietro Scott Jovane (CEO, RCS) Ernesto Mauri (CEO, Mondadori), Gerard Baker (Editor-in-Chief, Wall Street Journal), and Martin Baron (Editor, Washington Post).
It was an opportunity for competitor publishers and journalists to work together and compare ideas looking for the best way to adapt to the rapid changes taking place in the communication world, i.e., a race against time to keep up with the public’s demands.
After acknowledging the fact that Internet users are increasing – and thus the number of those consulting the information websites – and that social networks in particular are growing, the reason why newspapers have also committed themselves to digital communication becomes clear. Nobody denies that a search for solutions is still underway but everybody agrees that “experimenting is the way to grow”.
In a newspaper network that today ranges from printed paper to social networks, journalism’s relationships with Facebook and Google can grow if mutually reciprocal solutions are reached and the users’ propensity to look for news more than once a day is satisfied. The path to follow is still obscure but the necessity of not stopping at some models has been acknowledged.
Another problem tackled during the conference was the relationship between the news and readers’ tastes. Some maintain that it is now the audience that chooses the hierarchy of news: by monitoring the websites’ activity, it is possible to understand what is read more readily. It is fair however to give all the information, even that less welcome, without lowering the level in order to meet approval. Journalism will always be in the business of giving reliable and verified information.
Communication can also have various specific objectives, including the presentation of economic information or innovative techniques. For example, companies in different sectors may naturally be partnered with tools useful for the continuing vocational training and educational growth.
Our Georgofili.Info and Georgofili.World followed the Bagnaia conference with great interest. Through its English-language newsletters, the weekly Info and the monthly World, the Georgofili commitment makes possible the non-profit dissemination of internationally important information related primarily to important agricultural problems, using the new digital communication tools.
Giulia Bartalozzi - firstname.lastname@example.org