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El Tiempo’s David Matoses: ‘Printed newspapers have a very powerful brand value’

2022-12-19. In continuation with our latest series of interviews with printers and publishers, we talk to David Matoses, CEO at Colombia-based El Tiempo, who tells us about the challenges in distribution, growth potential of newspapers, recruiting young talents and more.

by Aultrin Vijay aultrin.vijay@wan-ifra.org | December 19, 2022

WAN-IFRA: Can you tell our readers about your title and how long you’ve been in the industry?

David Matoses: My professional career in the publishing world began in 1995 at a publishing house in Barcelona – Editorial Planeta. In 2006, I became the manager of a publishing house in Colombia and in 2008 I started working at El Tiempo newspaper. In total, I have been working in this industry for 27 years.

How has your company tackled the paper challenges?

Paper continues to be a fundamental element in terms of depth and analysis of news, in contrast to the immediacy and speed of digital. For a newspaper, this role is not new, as it was with the advent of radio and television. However, in an era of digitisation, this role has become rather accentuated. Therefore, we must work on improving the quality of the information to add meaningful value to our readers. We are even thinking of changing the design and format to help us improve the perception of quality that a paper must have. There are at least two generations that will continue to enjoy deep reading on a paper, and we must cater to them with quality.

What are your main challenges in distribution?

Distribution is one of the main challenges in terms of cost and time. A large part of our readers want to enjoy their breakfast with our newspaper. Considering the vast geography of the country, this forces us to have several printing and distribution centres. This can only be achieved with deeper alliances, where competition disappears, and we all become allies to be more efficient and please readers. We promote e-paper only in remote areas, which are difficult to access. 

How is your company attracting new talents?

Undoubtedly, work profiles are diversifying in the world of media. El Tiempo has always been a training company. We have the experience, time and size to carry out these knowledge-sharing efforts. This also creates challenges. Since many companies see us as a seedbed, we must have very clear career plans to allow the professional development of those talents. We have two projects that bring us young talent from training: a journalism school where we select recently graduated candidates to spend six months in training in all areas of the profession; and a digital technology programme, where we hire 12 people annually and train them in all the digital, technological and data areas. In both these cases, a vast majority end up working with us.

Where do you see the most growth potential for the newspaper printers?

Printed newspapers continue to have a very powerful brand, with credibility and prestige. This strength of the brand attracts companies that want to invest in brand image. We must continue to strengthen our print brands and use its potential to improve the brand value of our customers. The printed matter continues to be an influential media, read by influential people. It is important that this work of control and supervision in society continue to be maintained. That is why the printed matter must be given informative quality, which will result in the global strengthening of the brands.

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