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2021 | Buch

Journalism, Data and Technology in Latin America


Über dieses Buch

This book explores innovative approaches to digital and data journalism in Latin America, brought by both legacy media and newcomers to the industry, with the purpose of examining this changing media landscape. As part of the Global South, Latin America has shown significant influence in the promotion of data and digital technologies applied to journalism in recent years. In this region, news entrepreneurs are becoming an essential source of innovation in news production, circulation, and distribution. The book considers news media, particularly in Latin America, as an open set of practices intertwined in the evolution of technology. It discusses the transformation of the Latin American news media ecosystem and considers how it has shaped the industry despite local differences. The study fills a significant gap in academic scholarship by addressing the multiple external factors, mainly political and economic, which have contributed to the relative lack of studies on the patterns of journalism in this region.


Chapter 1. Transformation of the News Media Industry in the Global South
Globalization is a multifaceted and complex phenomenon that does not reach equally to all global actors. In fact, the lack of technological capabilities to promote innovation has been an essential conditioning factor that has limited an equal diffusion worldwide of technology, research, and development, thus restricting the concrete growth opportunities of the least favored countries. While in the Global South many countries still struggle to jump on the wave of Information Society, Northern countries have been navigating the waters of innovation and technology disruption for decades. In this chapter, we discuss the multiple external factors, mainly political and economic, which have contributed to the relative lack of academic studies on the patterns of journalism in Latin America. Through its evolution, the Latin American region has become a laboratory of interesting ideas and initiatives that shed lights on how to confront the problems suffered locally and by the media ecosystem worldwide.
Ramón Salaverría, Mathias-Felipe de-Lima-Santos
Chapter 2. The New Praxeology of Digital Journalism in Latin America: Media Organizations Learn How to Walk by Running
With no time to waste in becoming capable of producing high-quality journalism, media organizations in Latin America learn to walk through difficult times, rushing to use the best that technology, collaboration and the digital world have to offer. Globally, media organizations have had to adapt to a platformization of society that has undermined the journalism nexus and their business models. The situation is not different in Latin America. However, the innovative and creative aspects found in the region make it one of the most exciting places to investigate its media ecosystem. Through new practices of engagement, reporting, and collaborating and through activism or empathy, Latin American media organizations reveal a novel praxis of the profession in the region. In this chapter, we discuss the praxeology (the study of practice and action) through the analysis of 93 questionnaire responses and 11 interviews to argue that, even with enormous difficulty, the main journalistic objectives are still the basis of their motivations and values. The overall situation of crisis in the media market took a toll on these organizations. Yet, they have been able to raise their heads above water by throwing themselves into innovative praxis.
Lucia Mesquita, Kamila Fernandes
Chapter 3. In a Search for Sustainability: Digitalization and Its Influence on Business Models in Latin America
Shifts in customer behavior, high-growth markets, globalization, and technological innovations create a “window of opportunity” for new business strategy and innovation in the media ecosystem. It will continue to have a tremendous impact on how media organizations create value and position themselves for the audience. Trying to survive in this new digital scenario, Latin American news publishers are breaking with their traditional business models, and looking for novel and more promising models for funding journalism. In order to explore these new dynamics of the new media ecosystem, this chapter discusses approaches adopted by Latin American news outlets to sustain their business strategies with innovation and quality journalism. This vibrant and multicultural region presents its own national characteristics and specificities that permeate in their business models. Without neglecting ads in their different forms, news media organizations found on a myriad of services, such educational activities and consulting new ways to finance their activities. While in most developed countries, mainly in the major cities of Argentina and Brazil, audience participation is becoming a reality, in other countries, fundraising is still limited. Philanthropic funding and temporary grant-giving are important resources for many news outlets across region. However, most organizations are seeking for their sustainability through a combination of various revenue sources, also known as multi-revenue stream models.
Mathias-Felipe de-Lima-Santos, Lucia Mesquita
Chapter 4. The Strategic Value of Data Journalism
Data journalism is one of the disruptions that have sprung up in the past years and have changed the news ecosystem. Until recently, the academic literature suggests that data journalism has been a predominantly Western phenomenon with little discussion about Latin America. The practice appears to become an increasingly global phenomenon only now with a growing number of newsrooms worldwide embracing data reporting skills. Also, born in a “fluid and mutable” space, the practice is recognized by “different professional interpretations and activities” and a continuous “professional renegotiation and regeneration,” which presents further challenges to staying abreast of the evolving technology. Thus, this chapter embraces a mixed-qualitative research paradigm to understand the strategic value of data journalism, in other words, the degree to which particular actions are vital or useful to the production of data stories. Guided by an analysis of national and international awards and competitions that recognize outstanding work in the field of investigative and data journalism, we selected a number of practitioners to understand the important or useful actions to produce data stories in the region. Findings show that data journalism is deployed by following a perspective that looks at collaboration, tools, profiles, open data, and storytelling. By considering these aspects, data journalists found challenges and opportunities to show the strategic value of the practice in their organizations, which is typically overlooked until it is awarded.
Mathias-Felipe de-Lima-Santos, Lucia Mesquita
Chapter 5. Audience Metrics and News Decisions
Digital media are constantly trying to provide attractive and useful content to their users. They have to do it with caution, in order to respect the identity of the publications and their business strategy. This implies constant editorial decision-making. To support these critical decisions, the most widespread tools today, those that allow a better analysis of audiences, are digital metrics. The metrics provide key performance indicators, generally named as KPIs, chosen according to the type of data required: quantitative or qualitative. Based on a qualitative study through questionnaires and interviews with journalists from seven native digital media in Latin America, this chapter analyzes to what extent and with what effects are metrics being used by digital media in this region to make strategic decisions. The results indicate that the adoption of metrics as criteria to guide the supply of news is still moderate in the region. However, a growing incidence of these analytical systems in newswork is detected, at least among digital native media.
Silvia-María Corzo, Ramón Salaverría
Chapter 6. Do You Help Us Make the News? A Discussion of the Uses of User-Generated Content by News Sites in Latin America
This chapter proposes a qualitative and exploratory look at User-Generated Content (UGC) in news sites from Latin America. The discussion focuses on the integration of these contents into storytelling. We selected four websites from each Latin American country during two stages, totaling 80 news sites, in which we searched for examples that fit our criteria. We located a diverse type of contributors and different profiles of contributions that allowed us to make inferences about the use of UGC by Latin American outlets. We understand that multiple factors influence the adoption of these contents by newsrooms, which include journalistic values, ethics, and the capacity to verify it. When UGC is used in journalism, there is always a process of mediation, implied and active, that varies over three levels: minimal, medium, and maximal. In the end, each news organization deals with UGC differently, and how successful they are in including the public in the news process is up to them; though there are interesting cases of application of UGC in the storytelling in Latin America, most news organizations apply a discourse of participation, but do not actually open the spaces for the public beyond the basic, such as comment sections.
Gabriela Gruszynski Sanseverino, Giuliander Carpes
Chapter 7. News Consumption Through Social Media and Messaging Applications
News organizations all over the world have reached increasingly larger audiences in the recent years—an accomplishment only made possible by the assistance of digital platforms such as Google and Facebook, which gradually took over control of content distribution and, consequently, advertising revenue. In an attempt to regain at least part of the command over their own business models, publishers have been progressively employing a more strategic use of social media, diversifying the adoption of platforms and focusing not only on online traffic but also on engaging and retaining their audiences. In this chapter, we describe how different Latin American news initiatives are using features from Google, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, Spotify among other platforms to reach their goals. Despite their efforts, news companies in the region still face a scenario of large dependence on tech giants, some apparently more dominant and less willing to compromise than others. Media capacity to challenge this situation also varies considerably depending on specific social, political, cultural and geographical factors.
Giuliander Carpes, Gabriela Gruszynski Sanseverino
Chapter 8. A Challenging Future for the Latin American News Media Industry
As society’s level of information and communication technologies (ICTs) development changes, journalists’ works tend to play an essential role in transforming the ways that people get informed. This chapter discusses how Latin American news media is paving the way for new technologies. A new form of capitalism nourished by modern technology becomes a threat to the development and adoption of innovations in the news media. In this respect, foundations and big tech corporations are responsible to fund the most innovative projects across the region, but this capital is limited in scope and time. Despite these challenges, there are small innovations moving forward in the Latin American news ecosystem. Ranging from engagement and solutions journalism to advanced levels of computational thinking, such as artificial intelligence and automated journalism, news media outlets are developing new strategies to better serve the audience. Thus, this new technological paradigm has opened the doors for novel newsgathering routines and groundbreaking dissemination processes, shifting to an audience-centric perspective. The future is uncertain, but technology, data, and journalism can be fundamental to the media industry’s sustainability and to regain the public’s trust.
Mathias-Felipe de-Lima-Santos, Lucia Mesquita
Journalism, Data and Technology in Latin America
herausgegeben von
Ramón Salaverría
Mathias-Felipe de-Lima-Santos
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Print ISBN