Portadista: the new editorial role of looking after the home page

When I translated the sixth part of the Model for the 21st Century Newsroom into Spanish, I learned some of the new roles for journalists in news organizations.

Now I have the chance to write about a new role for digital journalists thanks to my Argentinian colleague Alvaro Liuzzi, who recently visited Spain to interview some of the directors of national news websites for his documentary on Hispanic online newsrooms (Argentina, Peru and Spain).

The Editorial Director of 20minutos.es, Virginia Pérez Alonso, told him about a new position they created to permanently control the long home page of the site to make sure everything is correct (links, images, headlines) and to track the most popular stories in each column, using their own software that shows real time stats.

They call this new position the “Portadista” (Portada is Spanish for home page). This is how it works in the newsroom:

  • The “portadistas” are journalists [This may seem obvious but it is important to note that it’s necessary for the people in charge of this job to have journalistic skills].
  • There are three portadista shifts every day, and the first one arrives at 7 AM. They say it is a exhausting job so they change the people in charge every 15 days.
  • They receive all the information from the journalists via Google Docs and organize the home page according to that.
  • Then they proceed to review the hole home page, check the links, control that the verbal tenses are correct, the photos, etc.
  • They constantly monitor that the home page doesn’t exceed a maximum file size. If that happens they have to take out images, cut articles and reduce their size.

8 thoughts on “Portadista: the new editorial role of looking after the home page

  1. Leo Oliva

    Interesting, i’m an editor of los andes on line, a regional newspaper of argentina, and our home page needs a “portadista” inmediately.

    PD: Mauro, you look like Noel Gallagher, from Oasis. Don’t you?

  2. Mauro Accurso

    Leo: thanks for leaving your comment (we should talk in spanish?). It would be a nice investment to hire a Portadista, maybe only for the prime time of Los Andes.

    LOL nobody ever tell me that i look like Gallagher, actually they say i look like Del Potro 😛

    1. Leo Oliva

      Sí Mauro, podemos hablar en español, pero no quería dejar de lado a los lectores anglo. Sobre el portadista, nos vendría bien, dudo q alguna vez entre en nuestro presupuesto un cargo así.

  3. Ignacio Guebara

    In Terra Argentina (www.terra.com.ar), that position is called “Editor de portada” (Homepage Editor); Terra’s Editores de portada have the same responsabilities than in 20 Minutos -except for the file size control.

  4. Pingback: Portadista - new editorial job role at 20minutos.es | Kontexto

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