Knight Center journalist-in-residence Ismael Nafría reflects on year in Austin and announces newsletter on media innovation

In August 2016, Catalan journalist Ismael Nafría and his family traveled 5,330 miles from Barcelona to Austin, Texas to spend a year at the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas, as part of its Journalist-in-Residence program. During that time, he wrote and published the book “The Reinvention of The New York Times,” coordinated a series of stories on journalistic innovation in Latin America (also published as an e-book) and has now launched a weekly newsletter on digital media innovation.

Tendenci@s, Nafría’s newsletter, includes articles, studies and reports on the digital media industry around the world. He explained that his goal is for the newsletter to share “good ideas, interesting readings and other practical materials that help us to better carry out our work and to understand the profound changes that affect the media sector.”

“For some time now I thought that a product like Tendenci@s could be very useful for any professional involved in one way or another in the development of digital media in the Spanish-speaking world,” Nafría said. “There are many new developments in this area and it is not easy to keep up. In addition, in many cases, there is a lack of analysis and context to understand whether something is really important or not.”

Nafría explained that in addition to offering valuable and useful information in an easily understandable way, the newsletter format fits with current information consumption habits. The journalist has received positive feedback in the weeks since beginning the newsletter on May 20.

Nafría came to the Knight Center at the University of Texas at Austin almost one year ago after 30 years as a consultant and former executive and editor in Spanish media. He has participated in the Journalist-in-Residence program at the Knight Center, which hosts reporters and editors at the University of Texas as “visiting scholars” for periods of one or two semesters.

During his time as a journalist-in-residence, Nafría’s main project was to complete the Spanish-language book “The reinvention of The New York Times” (La reinvención de The New York Times), which the Knight Center published in April. The book, which has received many accolades, is available for free download through the Knight Center’s digital library and on Nafría’s website, while print and Kindle editions are for sale on Amazon.

He also coordinated a series on innovations in Latin American journalism, which was published in EnglishSpanish and Portuguese on the Knight Center’s Journalism in the Americas blog and as a free e-book.

And finally, Nafría helped to organize the 10th Ibero-American Digital Journalism Colloquium held on April 23, 2017 in conjunction with the International Symposium on Online Journalism (ISOJ), a global annual conference that the Knight Center has organized since 1999.

“It has been a great year in which I have been able to combine work on the book with recycling and reflection on the future of the media,” Nafría said.

This summer, Nafría and his family will return to Barcelona, where he plans to work as an independent consultant, professor and journalist specializing in digital media who will “help other projects to advance their digital business.” He has also started to plan a collection of books that will be announced in the near future and is preparing a supplementary update to his book on The New York Times. The new edition will discuss developments occurring at the U.S. newspaper of record.

As part of the Journalist-in-Residence program at the Knight Center, visiting professionals collaborate with the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, take courses at the University of Texas at Austin, learn from local news organizations such as the Texas Tribune, and attend industry-related conferences and seminars in Austin. The Knight Center hosts at least one journalist-in-residence every semester. To learn more, email knightcenter@austin.utexas.edu.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.