Tag Archives: argentina

La Nación: data journalism from Argentina

Guest post by Duarte Romero

Since the start of the year the Argentinian newspaper ‘La Nación’ has been publishing ‘Nación Data’, a blog dedicated to data visualization, interactive projects and especially, all the news related with data journalism.

During this time they have been posting interviews with experts from the community, reporting popular events such as NICAR and sharing the most innovative pieces made by other newspapers.

The multimedia development manager of ‘La Nación’, Momi Peralta, pointed out that their main goal so far is to release as much data as they can. Continue reading

Revisiting Rodolfo Walsh, father of Argentinian non fiction

For Argentinians like me, it was Rodolfo Walsh – and not Truman Capote, who published In Cold Blood almost a decade later – that invented non fiction journalism with his famous 1957 book Operación Masacre, a masterpiece of investigative journalism.

Twenty years later, on the first anniversary of Jorge Rafael Videla’s dictatorship, he was intercepted by soldiers, murdered, and his remains vanished: he became a “desaparecido”, just after delivering his Open Letter from a Writer to the Military Junta (Carta Abierta de un Escritor a la Junta Militar) to Argentine newspapers and correspondents at foreign media organizations.


To commemorate his work, Alvaro Liuzzi is starting a “journalistic experiment” called Proyecto Walsh searching for an answer to an interesting question: “What would have happened if, for the research of Operacion Masacre, Rodolfo Walsh had had access to the digital tools we have today?”.

The Twitter user @rodolfowalsh is the first step of Proyecto Walsh that will try to create an digital ecosystem in order to gather all of the research that Rodolfo accomplished 54 years ago, and remix it using the  journalistic tools of today.

The foreign minister of Argentina on Twitter

Argentinian politicians of all parties are now fervent Twitter users, as I stated in my previous OJB post, and they don’t hesitate in arguing shamelessly about all national matters in 140 characters.

The new foreign minister, Hector Timerman (@hectortimerman), is maybe the most enthusiastic Twitter user of all the government officials. Every day you can read him discussing with national journalists – and regular Twitter citizens – the administration’s performance.

So, generally, journalists that don’t agree with Kirchner’s  marriage policies bear the brunt of his anger through Twitter. That’s why Reynaldo Sietecase (one of the top national journalists) asked Timerman in his radio show about the risk of communicating things by Twitter “without any filter”.

The foreign minister of Argentina replied with irony: ¿Dont you think that now, while I’m talking on the radio with you, I’m also doing it without any filter?

The journalist pushed on and asked if Twitter didn’t make him waste time. Of course, Timerman raised the bet: “Actually, I waste much more time talking with you than on Twitter”.

The New Online Journalists #10: Deborah Bonello

mexico reporter logo

As part of an ongoing series, Deborah Bonello talks about a career that has taken her from business journalism in London to video journalism in South America, and a current role producing video at the FT.

What education and professional experience led to your current job?

After I graduated from Bristol University in 1998 (I wrote for my student newspaper Epigram for most of my time there), I moved up to London and started working for Newsline, an online news service run as part of the media database product Mediatel.

A year later I was taken on by New Media Age as a reporter, where I got to watch the dot com boom become the dot com crash and work with the then-editor, Mike Butcher, now the editor of TechCrunch Europe.

From there I moved to Campaign to edit their Campaign-i section, and when that got cut because of budgets after a year I spent the next few years freelancing on media business magazines (Campaign, Media Week, NMA, FT Creative Business) and watching how the traditional publishing industry took on the internet.

By then, I was fed up of London and business journalism, so I headed off to Latin America. After a year in Argentina as a print only journo, I moved to Mexico to launch NewCorrespondent.com, an experiment in digital journalism, with help from Mike Butcher. Continue reading

News sites based on social media content in Latin America

I have to admit I didn’t see this one coming… traditional media corporations in Latin America are launching news sites based exclusively on content originated in social media.

First of all, we have 140 – news of Twitter, a new web site lunched by Perfil in Argentina, intended as a site for “people who don’t have a Twitter account but want to find out what’s happening” in the microblogging world.

Twitter has had a tremendous growth in the country in 2010, thanks mainly to TV shows that sudenly began using Twitter as a live interactive tool with the audience.

Then local celebrities and world-cup football players joined the conversation, finishing the job of popularizing the social network, and now even politicians replace their traditional press releases with fleeting 140 character messages that sometimes end up in front pages.

140 was created by Darío Gallo, executive editor of Perfil.com and former Director of Noticias (the most popular political magazine of the country), one of the early adopters of Twitter in Argentina. He assured me the new project is receiving good reactions and traffic. Continue reading

A journalistic tour of the Argentinian Bicentenary

On May 25th we celebrate the Argentinian Bicentenary. And while the big media aren’t showing any really interesting initiatives, we have Tu Bicentenario, an independent and experimental journalistic project that aims to give real-time coverage to the main events of the celebrations with social tools and user-collaboration.

With a highly customizable website that integrates different movable boxes, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, Google Maps and mobile streaming, they are trying to facilitate the creation and publication of content not only by the creators but by the audience too.

The most interesting content that came out of the project so far -in my opinion- is the survey in pictures and videos of historic sites, contrasted with old images to show the changing of cities. This material is being geolocated in Google Maps.

Some Argentinean Google Maps users also upload 3D models of the most important sights so you can do a virtual tour of the country.

The precarization of journalism in Argentina

When Paul invited me to collaborate on OJB, I was determined to report what was going on with journalism in Spanish speaking countries. But living in Argentina inevitably means being submerged in the reality of one of many underdeveloped countries, a reality which doesn’t compare to what I have written about Spain (nonetheless suffering 25% unemployment).

The truth is that we in Argentina and throughout Latin America have been experiencing for a long time a process of precarization of labour in the newsrooms, with the complicity of power that big media corporations have to influence government policies.

That’s why many employers in the mainstream media try to have bloggers on their online sites without paying them, under the excuse that they offer the blogger “an outlet to show their work” (this happened in traditional newsrooms too and I suffered it personally in Clarín, the biggest media corporation of the country).

The latest example of this is what happened (English translation) to Alejandro Agostinelli’s blog, Magia Crítica, which was deleted without notice by the head of the digital edition of the Crítica de la Argentina journal.

What was the reason? Alejandro asked if they could pay him for writing the blog.

The journalist used to receive a salary for the work until September 2009, when he received an e-mail telling him that he would not receive it any more.

Agostinelli agreed to work for free but asked for independence to manage the blog and add his own advertising.

Obviously, that never happened. Critica’s banners continued to appear on his blog and his posts sometimes made it to the news site’s home page.

Two weeks ago, he decided to ask for his salary again, but it appears he was dismissed for merely asking.

171 posts were published in Magia Crítica over 14 months before it was closed, but luckily its content was saved and remains online in a WordPress.com domain.

I offered the right of reply to the head of the digital edition of Crítica de la Argentina, Nerina Sturgeon, and she said that the laboral conditions with Alejandro were clear from the beginning:

“He was paid monthly as long as the blog had good trafic, but that objective was never met. So I told him the blog would be closed but he could keep the space without pay and he agreed. He then sent me a pseudo-threatening email demanding his monthly payment, so he broke our agreement”.