martes, 15 de octubre de 2019

Trece reflexiones para repensar el periodismo de hoy, por Iñaki Gabilondo

Gabilondo lee su discurso de investidura en el Paraninfo de la Universidad de Sevilla.




El veterano periodista José Ignacio Gabilondo Pujol, más conocido como Iñaki Gabilondo, fue investido hoy doctor honoris causa por la Universidad de Sevilla a propuesta de la Facultad de Comunicación de esta institución académica. En un solemne acto en el Paraninfo de la Universidad Hispalense, el periodista vasco fue reconocido por su trayectoria profesional y procedió a leer su discurso de investidura. En él analizó la situación actual y próximos retos de la profesión.

Por la oportunidad y el interés de esas reflexiones pronunciadas ante la comunidad académica, y por su valor para reabrir o continuar un debate entre lo nuevo y lo viejo del periodismo que está más vivo que nunca en muchas redacciones de medios de comunicación, extraemos aquí algunos de los pasajes de ese discurso. 

En su disertación, Gabilondo abogó por que el oficio "absorba la sustancia de sus raíces" ("tenemos que repasar nuestro manual de instrucciones", llega a decir) en unos tiempos en los que la irrupción de internet hizo que el periodismo llegase incluso "a dudar de sí mismo, de su sentido y de su vigencia", y se haya "ido moviendo de forma errática hasta llegar en muchos casos a perder la conciencia de su papel".

. "Con internet hemos aprendido que es grotesco y contradictorio aceptar como válida la información sin preocuparnos de su origen en el momento en que se exige que se afine más y más en el control y trazabilidad de cuanto comemos"

. "Las redes sociales nos demuestran cada día que el anonimato es un arma de destrucción masiva"

. "La solvencia será la palabra. Y la ética, que hemos pregonado más que practicado, se convertirá en asunto de vida o muerte para el periodismo"

. "Internet no acabará con el periodismo, aunque, eso sí, le forzará a reinventarse. O más bien a reencontrarse, a reconciliarse consigo mismo"

. "El pánico a quedar relegado ha conducido al periodismo tradicional a notables extravíos, idolatrías de cuanto sonara a vanguardia o último grito, sin mayores reflexiones, en la pueril esperanza de ser homologado o salvarse económicamente a través de la simplificación y la banalización"

. "El periodismo debería definir con otro nombre ese universo de bastardías que ha inundado los medios, sin excluir ni a los más prestigiosos, y que han proliferado por la desesperación financiera y el clamoroso olvido de las exigencias que esa profesión tiene con la sociedad"

. "Deberíamos llamar "Paraperiodismo" a las acciones de comunicación señaladas como puros artículos de consumo para acumular 'likes'. Muy respetables subproductos de la industria de la comunicación con la condición de que se identifiquen como tales. Y altamente peligrosos cuando se les saluda como modelo de adaptación del periodismo a la exigencias del presente"

. "Nuestro oficio consiste en contar, pero hemos dedicado mucho más tiempo a contar oyentes, lectores, espectadores y anunciantes que a reflexionar sobre qué hemos de contar y cómo para recuperar la confianza perdida"

. "Está fuera del alcance del periodismo neutralizar un fenómeno de la amplitud y profundidad de las 'fake news', pero sí le es exigible no añadir más basura al basurero con ofertas informativas de baja estofa"

. "El periodismo solo tiene futuro a partir de la relectura de su razón de ser (...), de una relectura no complaciente del llamado periodismo de calidad, que algunos medios tradicionales se autoatribuyen sin más reflexión, como si les correspondiera automáticamente por antigüedad"

. "El compromiso con la sociedad está en la esencia del periodismo, es su substantivo. La rentabilidad está en la sustancia de la empresa periodística. La historia ha demostrado que pueden ser compatibles. Pero no si es a costa de que el periodismo traicione su razón de ser y sus códigos deontológicos"

. "El llamado periodismo de calidad es, sencillamente, el periodismo. Y los que afirman practicarlo deben, sencillamente, hacer eso, practicarlo"

. "El periodismo, y no solo el periodismo, está teniendo problemas para comprender la fisonomía del mundo que se está construyendo (...) Y mira al horizonte haciendo la pregunta equivocada. Porque la pregunta no es "qué va a pasar" esperando el advenimiento de vientos favorables, sino "qué vamos a hacer"

miércoles, 9 de octubre de 2019

El estado del fotoperiodismo deportivo: amenazas y retos

En la era del vídeo como narrativa predominante en las nuevas plataformas digitales, el fotoperiodismo es una de las disciplinas profesionales que más retos ha de encarar a diario, y, sobre todo, que más dificultades está atravesando dentro de la industria mediática. Paradójicamente, esto ocurre en un momento en el que las imágenes deportivas y su distribución proliferan en todo tipo de soportes como nunca antes lo han hecho. Pero esa masificación de la producción fotográfica digital ha coincidido con una reestructuración de departamentos de Fotografía, que en muchos periódicos se han acortado o desaparecido y que en agencias se han concentrado o han acabado incluso siendo absorbidos por las principales empresas del sector, como es el caso de Getty Images.

Los profesores e investigadores de la Universidad de Stirling (Reino Unido) Richard Haynes, Adrian Hadland y Paul Lambert han analizado en un artículo titulado 'The State of Sport Photojournalism' (El estado del fotoperiodismo deportivo) cómo los fotoperiodistas profesionales que cubren competiciones se están adaptando a la era digital, si están pudiendo sobrevivir a ella y cómo, y cuáles son los principales desafíos que afrontan para que su actividad no peligre en un futuro, tal como muchos agoreros no han dudado en pronosticar. El estudio, publicado hace unos meses como capítulo dentro del libro Changing Sports Journalism Practice in the Age of Digital Media, recoge las opiniones y experiencias de 713 fotógrafos registrados en la base de datos de la World Press Photo Foundation y que total o parcialmente se dedican a captar y producir imágenes deportivas.

Como fruto de un encuesta online, realizada en el año 2016, esta investigación presenta una serie de datos interesantes que perfilan esta actividad y a los profesionales que la desarrollan en medios de los cinco continentes. De esos 713 fotoperiodistas encuestados, 362 (18% del total) señalaron que los deportes son su principal campo de acción, mientras que para 284 la fotografía deporte constituye su principal fuente de ingresos.

El estudio describe un perfil de fotoperiodista deportivo mayoritariamente masculino, de entre 35 y 45 años, normalmente con titulación universitaria, con una proporción creciente de autoempleados o freelances, si bien la mayoría aún trabaja para medios y, sobre todo, agencias. La brecha de género es más pronunciada en el fotoperiodismo deportivo, donde apenas un 6,6% son mujeres, frente a los datos del fotoperiodismo en general, donde la cuota femenina llega al 15%,


Especialización por disciplinas

La mayoría de los fotoperiodistas deportivos cubren varios deportes a la vez, sobre todo los que más espacio ocupan en los medios, porque, fundamentalmente, son los que más les solicitan y más ingresos les generan. Un 30% se dedica a un reducido número de modalidades, mientras que la superespecialización en uno o dos deportes solo atañe al 19% de los encuestados.

Así las cosas, el fútbol es de lejos el deporte que cuenta con mayor cobertura (entre el 70 y el 80% de los fotoperiodistas lo cubren). Las preferencias deportivas también van por territorios, de forma que el balompié reina sobre todo en los fotoperiodistas de Asia, África, México, Centroamérica y Sudamérica, mientras que para estadounidenses y canadienses aparecen más el baloncesto, el golf y el hockey hielo más que en otras zonas del mundo.

Gráfico extraído del estudio de Haynes, Hadland y Lambert.


Uno de los principales problemas que señala alrededor de un 20% de los profesionales en este estudio es su dificultad creciente para acceder a los estadios y resto de recintos deportivos, debido al cada vez más complejo sistema de derechos y acreditaciones que establecen organismos y clubes deportivos. Este es uno de los principales retos para fotoperiodistas del deporte que identifica el estudio junto con otros como la mencionada brecha de género, el coste cada vez más elevado de los equipos y la amenaza de fotógrafos amateur y de personas que reproducen imágenes en redes sociales violando derechos de autor.

Sobre la sostenibilidad futura del fotoperiodismo deportivo, los datos no arrojan demasiada claridad. Lo que sí advierten los autores es la progresiva desaparición de las mujeres dentro del fotoperiodismo deportivo profesional, lo que, a su juicio, "no ayudará a corregir el sexismo, el racismo, la homofobia y la falta de diversidad ya evidente en diferentes culturas del deporte"

La diferenciación en las coberturas deportivas también depende de contar con imágenes de calidad (las del deporte históricamente han sido icónicas y forman parte del ideario colectivo). Y para ello, contar con fotoperiodistas profesionales dedicados exclusivamente al deporte, como hace por ejemplo The Guardian Sport con Tom Jenkins, es un sustento evidente. La contribución que siguen haciendo estos profesionales para que la información deportiva luzca y sobresalga es enorme. Por eso, estudios como el aquí reseñado son también todo un reconocimiento a su labor y su trayectoria.

domingo, 29 de septiembre de 2019

Paul Bradshaw: "We need a better understanding of audiences and how much that has already changed"


Interviewing Paul Bradshaw at the Birmingham City University.

Paul Bradshaw stands out as one the most renowned researchers on online journalism in the UK. International speaker on digital journalism, he is the author, among several publications, of The Online Journalism Handbook: Skills to survive and thrive in the digital age (now in its second edition, from 2017) and the co-author of Mobile-First Journalism: Producing News for Social and Interactive Media (2018). He is also the course leader for the MA in Data Journalism and the MA Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism at Birmingham City University. 

Bradshaw is regarded as one of the most influential journalism bloggers since he started publishing the Online Journalism Blog in 2004, a pioneer site where he posts comments, analyses and links covering innovation in online journalism and topics such as citizen journalism, blogging, podcasts, interactive storytelling, automated journalism or user generated content. Moreover, he works as a consulting data journalist in the BBC England data unit.

We met at Birmingham City University School of Media and had a chat on the challenges that media outlets face nowadays to better reach audiences and regain trust from them all in the new multiplatform scenario.

- You opened the path to others some years ago when you launched your blog and conducted new research on online journalism. How have studies on online journalism evolved since then?
- Well I think research has exploded really. We've moved from trying to work out what this new medium was and what to do with it technically to a really wide range of research on the audiences, the communities, and their role in terms of circulation and producing journalism.
That's really interesting, but still we haven't really tapped into that. We've got the consumption side of things and the business models side of things. And lots of different types of digital journalism, so data journalism being just wonderful -the literature on data journalism alone is really quite substantial-, and all of it is more global. You've got mobile journalism, drone journalism, VR, visual journalism and all sorts of different types of journalism. You could read everything really but now you can't. You can pick one part of it and still find lots and lots of literature.
And it's become more critical, which is how it should be. We've definitely moved on from a point of view which is focusing purely on all the good, on things that could be done, a kind of democratization of journalism if you like, to a more balanced understanding goal with any new technology there are.
There have been improvements, and also negative sides of it. Perhaps at the moment we're probably focusing a bit too much on the negatives. We've started to take for granted some of the positives. But we should keep reminding ourselves how amazing the diversity of voices is while at the same time we have all the problems of fake news and trolls and surveillance we need to deal with.

- To what extent media outlets should take these new technologies and new possibilities we have more seriously to fight against all those problems you mention?
- We need a better understanding of audiences and how much that has already changed. Before online journalism we had a general idea of how many people read or watched or listened to our journalism. We assumed that people trusted us and believed when we were part of the facts. And what we're learning now because of more understanding of our audiences, because of more research, is that we can't take it for granted. But we as journalists are starting to take responsibility for not just reporting the news but reporting it in a way that is going to be believed. 
I was at a conference last week where someone presented a research on Donald Trump and his use of Twitter. One of the things they'd done research on was when he lied about the crowd sizes of his inauguration and they showed those pictures to people who'd voted for Trump. These people still believed that the image of the crowd was bigger. And even when they presented those people with a statement from Trump's press secretary regretting it he had been part of this lie, they still insisted that it was not a lie. 
Their conclusion was when a fact becomes politicized it stops being a fact and it becomes an expression of identity. And that's the sort of thing that as journalists we face. First of all, it's massively depressing to us to think that even when we report the facts people are not going to believe that. But at least we can move past far and think 'OK, so what does work'. And there's some really exciting stuff around using viral techniques like those to spread fact checking and using the language of viral media to chase those lies.


"When a fact becomes politicized it stops being a fact and it becomes an expression of identity. It's depressing to think that even when we report the facts people are not going to believe that" 


- It seems that we are going farther from the audience, especially the youngest, who are getting access to news through other channels, not through the media. So in what way does participatory journalism would be a way to engage them and draw their attention to come back to the news outlets?
- We still are at a stage where we are involving communities in news production as much as we could or should. And that is a really important way to establish a relationship of trust. It really annoys me when there is research that asks about trust and says how much do you trust The Sun newspaper or Twitter. But we're not reading Twitter, we're reading our friends or our family on Twitter. We're reading a whole range of people and actually our trust levels will vary.
So if we're collaborating with people and there are some interesting collaborative models which are rebuilding that relationship with the media that used to exist and where a journalist is part of our community. A good example would be The Bristol Cable. Their motto is really interesting to watch.

- Maybe it's easier for the local media to involve the community and offer them something different. 
- Yes, it's interesting to see how national media can work in that environment. The Bureau Local is another example which is looking at different investigations and almost having to rebuild its community each time. And I think that has certain challenges. But that trust issue, that engagement issue, is one that some news organizations are grappling with but still they've almost moved away from that. We had that period of time when there was a lot more interest in crowdsourcing and collaboration. And now other issues have overtaken that.

- A couple of weeks ago the Reuters Institute for the Study Journalism published a report saying that the Public Service Media have a problem to engage younger audiences because they are not doing a better use of social media to connect them. I don't know if at BBC, where you are working with, it's happening something similar or not.
- I would disagree a little bit with this. It's easy to say in a sense of stereotypes we're not reaching young people because we're not doing things on social media. Yes, there's an element of that but it's more about the public service media is always going to be limited in the voice but it can have. And frankly if you look at the outlets are doing it well like BuzzFeed or The Huffington Post, they're able to speak in a language and take a position in a way that the BBC for example just cannot do. However I've been in many meetings or events in the BBC where it's being talked about and there's a lot of effort around appealing to younger audiences. But fundamentally you're never going to reach that audience, if you're limited in the way that you can write, if you can't talk in their language regardless of what platform you're on.

- In a multimedia language?
- Not exactly in a multimedia language but, for instance, BuzzFeed's, which is quite pro diversity, campaigning in a way, it's sassy, it's using gifts and listicles,... That's not just about using Twitter, is more about a language and a culture. 
The BBC is a big strand. I've said in the past it's like the Switzerland of news, because it's neutral, in the middle. And so it's got mass appeal which has to have. It can't have mass appeal and also be really successful with a younger audience. And also it's a destination organization that people get to towards the end of our careers. The Guardian has the same problem: people reach there and stay there. So the workforce is going to be older than other news organizations like BuzzFeed or Fox. So again you've got that lack of internal knowledge. It could be better on Twitter but actually the BBC is very good on Twitter and it shows a lot of resources into it.



"When teaching sports journalists, the major issue is how to move beyond the sports celebrities world to those broader (social) issues. And that involves things like sensitivity and ethics"


- Actually they´re doing a pretty good job through their BBC News Labs, where they don't stop testing new things everyday... Taking into account the main challenges and problems that media outlets have to face in this new scenario, in what way sports can be used by media as an appealing content to reach those younger audiences and draw their attention?
- It's a really good question actually. We've been talking of the challenge reaching younger audiences with Huffington Post that have partnered with Birmingham City University to launch The HuffPost School of Journalism next month. And a lot of that is about wanting to understand how young people consume news and how can bring those voices into their organization and understanding that culture. And a part of that is for sports journalism. Some of the developments in sport are issues like Kaepernick and the racial protests in the NFL, some about women's football and women's football commentators, around race and football again and trolling on Twitter because of discussions we're having about finances in women's sport. We're talking about doing a story on that. So it means using sports as a way to tackle broader issues, social issues. And that's something that the Huffington Post can do. I suspect the BBC would be trickier because there is always concern and fear of being seen as taking a side.
But I think the other battleground is that cultural battle of, as you have mentioned, sports journalism is being neglected by research. I think the problem with people who study sports journalism is getting them to move from metro parks to something deeper. In terms of education, when we're teaching sports journalists, the major issue is how to move beyond the sports celebrities world, and even the celebrity interviewer, to those broader issues. And that involves things like sensitivity and ethics. That's a very important.

- It may be even more difficult when those future journalists follow some TV shows and radio programmes where sports is taken as mere entertainment rather than something more serious. This is a traditional approach, a conventional mindset.
- Yes, it is really tricky and to some extent this is a game where audiences come in. To some extent sometimes fans don't want to hear the bad news. You know, it is escapism. And it's a really odd. It's a massive business, for instance what happens to the whole ongoing FIFA scandal and the World Cup. I don't know how I'm going to feel watching the World Cup in Qatar because inside this is a complete sham. But at the same time you want to enjoy it and escape into it. To some extent politics suffer some of the same, it becomes a story of personalities and who's winning and who's losing rather than what the actual issues are.