The former editor-in-chief of Argentina's La Nación discusses the tools newsrooms - and news consumers - need to navigate the Age of the Algorithm.
Chani Guyot is a journalist, editor and designer. Guyot is the former editor-in-chief of Argentina’s La Nación newspaper, and in 2017 he left his position to focus on innovations in journalism with the startup of Next Idea Lab. As part of the Global Media Forum’s Media Innovation Lab Day, Guyot will explore the possibilities of an augmented newsroom, and tackle questions surrounding digitalization.
What will the newsroom of the future look like?
I believe the newsroom of the future will look like a designer’s think tank, a medieval craft guild, and a SWAT team altogether. A designer’s think tank because in the Age of the Algorithm the ability to observe people’s behavior and make sense of deep human understanding is essential. A medieval craft guild because we need professionals that can rotate between taking on the role of masters (highly skilled), journeymen (moderately skilled), or apprentices (beginners), and work and learn together on a hands-on task for specific product output. Those people can be part of several SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) teams using the adequate technology to answer the audiences’ needs.
What is your top tip for newsrooms – and news consumers – to navigate the massive changes to the way we produce and consume news?
In every transition period, there are few things as important and complex as determining what changes and what remains. What ideas, practices, and routines are obsolete, and which are still valid to go through the transition without losing the essence that defines us. At the same time, newsrooms need to have open minds and hands to incorporate those ideas, skills, tools, and practices that can answer to the audience’s changing habits. For example, mobile narrative formats should be the sandbox of today's news storytellers, but the ingredients that create a great story are the same we’ve had with us, for the last 20 centuries.
What do you see as the biggest challenge to adapting to digitalization?
The New Mindset that at the same time can embrace technology, and put it in its place to leverage human journalism: flesh and blood people who tell the necessary stories, driven by curiosity, empathy, and the ability to find meaning where robots only find data.