At 9:30 this morning Karl arrived at our hostel to pick us up and take us to the headquarters of Digimedia. Digimedia is a two year-old company that focuses on, you guessed it, digital media. With a staff of around 50 the company produces www.lainformacion.com a daily online newspaper.
Chiqui Esteban met us in the lobby and led us up to the 6th floor of the building where Digimedia is located. After seeing the news room and grabbing some café con leche in the office kitchen we headed to the board room. There we met Antonio Pasagali director of design and infographics and Enrique Infante director of marketing. Also joining us was Jose Manuel who was taking down notes and snapping some photos to post on the newspapers blog later in the day. They showered us with gifts giving us each a notebook and a poster of a gorgeous graphic that portrays technology and communication.
Enrique showed us a video that they had made for the one year anniversary of the website. It was about the future of journalism and how they believe that eventually everything relevant will be digital. Newsrooms won’t exist anymore; journalists would work from wherever they are at that moment and send in their stories to a computer that would compile everything. Enrique also discussed with us how the company makes money. They decided right away that they were not going to have a pay wall. Instead their profit comes from advertising which can sometimes be frustrating for the design aspect of the sight, but is a necessary evil.
Chiqui showed us some great graphics and multimedia pieces that have been used by the newspaper. He said their goal is to show things in a different way using video, text and graphics because that is what makes them competitive and standout in the industry. This mutlimedia graphic was one of our favorites. They try and have an interctive aspect of every grahpic that the reader can play with and be a part of. He told us that it is important to have fun and try new things with graphics. He also said not to be scared of technology, to go for it, and if it something doesn’t work then try something else.
Antonio, who could be Bill Murray’s brother according to Karl, talked to us about the design and goals of the site. It is clean cut and has a new layout every day. They want to surprise the reader by changing things up and staying away from monotony. They’re goal as a company is to break the structure of the typical online newspaper.
We were all inspired by these innovators of the newspaper industry. These men left jobs at some of the top newspapers in the world, Antonio was the creative director for El Mundo, to have a part in starting something that they really believe in. I hope, and I think everyone else does also, to one day be that bold and confident in my abilities and my knowledge of the industry.
We then headed to Café Comercial, which dates back to 1887, and had a lunch of bocadillos and café con leche. The café is gorgeous with marble table tops, antique wood chairs and chandeliers. Karl then gave us a drawing lesson teaching us about shading. After a quick chat with Nancy about weekend plans we all headed back to the hostel to do what we would with the rest of the afternoon. Activities ranged from napping, journaling, laundry and shopping. Every day I love Madrid more and more. We head to the Prado Museum tomorrow so it’s time to finish homework and rest up for another day in the city.