A Paraguayan newspaper caught my attention and since the moment I clicked their link a lot of things happened to me. My presentation of ABC Colors' website was a summary of the opportunities a well prepared and entrepreneur journalist can get still get from newspapers.
It happened to me just as I was learning about all the things a journalist has to know nowadays: write, shoot photographs and video, edit, upload, so much!. Struggling with technology as I always did I bumped into ABC TV, a section of the newspaper that, as many newspapers in the world, has its own independent production of video reports and news. They work with reporters from the print edition but they also have two exclusive camera men to do the shooting. The videos section has politics, economy, sports and many other segments. I realized it was a great opportunity to show what I have learned so far , so I asked if they would consider looking at my work. When they said yes I put together a tourism report, I did everything but the editing and sent the footage to them. They liked it and uploaded it. Since that time I had already done three videos and also wrote an article for their Sunday magazine, and I hope to continue doing so as a freelance reporter in a foreign country.
Here are the videos:
Introducting Boston Harbor and Aquarium
Getting to know Cuttyhunk Islands in Massachusetts
Paraguayan votes in U.S. Presidential elections
ABC is the biggest and most read newspaper in my country. It is not easy for a journalist to get any kind of job opportunity there, so I have to say this time technology definitely gave me a hand.
LOOKING FOR NEW NICHES
Another thing I noticed in ABC’s website is that as many newspapers they are constantly looking for new ways to attract more readers. And they found one. Since Paraguay is a bilingual country, many people still speak guarani, our native language. But within Paraguayan newspapers’ websites there has never been a blog that is written in that language. So ABC began doing it and the feedback they got from readers is very encouraging. Mirta Martinez the journalist who writes the blog, told me not only they got local Paraguayans and Paraguayans that live abroad visiting and participating in the blog, but there are also institutions and people from Japan, Germany and the United States that familiarizes with the language because of academic reasons that visit it regularly.
It is a simple formula: more readers = more revenue. Now we’ll wait and see how they translate this success to their print edition.
I also mentioned during the presentation some of the weaknesses of the website: the aesthetics may be improved, it is a little too colorful. It needs maps and databases as well, something necessary to present the information in a clearer and more appealing way to the reader.
Another flaw is that their podcasts are not available for downloading only for listening online, which I guess makes sense since in Paraguay the driving distances are very short, but still, there may be more people listening to it if they could download it.