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Hernán Guaracao (center) with colleagues at Google headquarteres in Silicon Valley. Photo: Courtesy of Hernán Guaracao
Hernán Guaracao (center), AL DIA CEO, with colleagues at Google headquarters in Silicon Valley. Photo: Courtesy of Hernán Guaracao

The charm of journalism

The Gray Lady of Media got a red carpet rolled out last week in the main centers of technology in the world.

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Last week I had the privilege to visit 4 major companies dominating the digital space in the world, from the Social Media, to search engines, to video, to product development.

Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and Youtube (owned by Google), in that order.

Amazing experiences, needless to say, learning about each of the company’s cultures, processes and, of course, meeting the real and brilliant people behind them.

For those of us who are in the battlefield trying to figure out how to reinvent journalism in this first part of the 21st Century —after the sudden earthquake produced by the smart technology invented by these very giants, which demolished with one blow the architecture built over a century of news media evolution in America— was refreshing to learn that, in the middle of the seeming devastation, there is still plenty of hope.

Quality content, excellence in Journalism, legitimate sources of credible information, engaged readers and audiences, is the simple value that endures and is still pursued with renewed interest by these huge companies that, on their own, turned to look for partners who in the field of news media and serious journalism may be doing the best job— from the local to the national, across the country and all over the world.

“Facebook Journalism Project,” “Google News Initiative,” and “YouTube Innovation Fund," with millions of dollars already committed, are all evidence that, despite all the bewildering changes that brought down traditional news media to its knees, the fundamentals that started off journalism and professional news media, centuries ago, still remain pretty much the same.

“Content is king” is the expression used more often in the media commercial space.

Those of us in media who started in the other side of the tracks, in the sandbox of a newsroom, as writers and editors, prefer to call it another way:

The charm of serious journalism.

That journalism that is important not only to business, but, more importantly, to the survival of the Democratic Society we live in.

No wonder why our founding fathers, gathered here in Philadelphia, the cradle of our Democracy, chose to protect that civic virtue and intellectual discipline by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

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