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"We define ourselves as 'platform-agnostic,'" says founder of Salvadorian news site El Faro (video)

By Alejandro Martínez

This year El Salvador's acclaimed news website El Faro celebrates its 16th anniversary.

When it launched in 1998, the outlet broke new ground when it became the country's first independent digital-native news site. Nowadays El Faro is often cited as an example of excellence in Latin American online journalism for its high-impact investigations and constant experimentation with different formats to tell stories.

But Carlos Dada, the site's founder and director, does not call El Faro a multi-platform site. On the contrary: Dada thinks part of their success has come from not being tied to a single platform.

"We define ourselves as a news outlet that is 'platform-agnostic,' which allows us to get to the heart of what we do," Dada said in a video interview during the 7th Ibero American Colloquium for Digital Journalism, organized on April 6 by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas.

During the Colloquium, Dada shared some of El Faro's recent narrative experiments, like a collaboration with musicians and illustrators to produce journalistic animated shorts, a photographic project that shows the last items of clothing missing people were wearing before being found dead, and Sala Negra ("black room" in English), El Faro's permanent section dedicated to covering violence in Central America.

The day before the Colloquium Dada also participated in a panel at the 15th International Symposium for Online Journalism on digital news sites working in conflict zones.

Watch below an interview with Dada in Spanish, in which the journalist shared part of his take on the term "online journalism,” why El Faro did not discuss the threats against its staff during their coverage of the truce between Salvadorian gangs two years ago – which the site is now detailing in a new section called Las Astillas Pérdidas de la Tregua (or "the truce's missing splinters" in English) –  and his opinion on U.S. media's responsibilities to the rest of the world.

Entrevista con Carlos Dada, fundador y director de El Faro en El Salvador from Knight Center on Vimeo.

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.

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