Media tribune #1, Claudio Martinez and sports journalism in Central America
Claudio Martinez, an Argentinian journalist that settled in
by Martin Mazur
Claudio Martinez is one of the usual voices of sports
journalism in El Salvador. Host of Los Provocadores, a radio program with
intense debate and interviews, Martinez is enjoying a second life in
journalism, after excelling in print. He was writer and editor of Argentinian
magazine El Gráfico, and since 2002 he migrated to El Salvador, where he
developed the sports section of El Diario de Hoy, one of the two leading papers
in the country.
What do you like the most about sports journalism?
The chance of being able to do a coverage, visit new places
and meet with different colleagues, but above all, the idea of telling a story
to readers/listeners from a place that they cannot be.
What are the biggest challenges of the profession now?
Unfortunately, we see more and more often that the focus is
set on the immediacy and less in stories, that are still very important. But
impact is sought after by the easy way.
What’s the coverage that you’ve enjoyed the most and why?
Maybe the U20 World Cup in Turkey in 2013, it was the first
time that El Salvador were part of a Youth World Cup and I covered it for
newspaper El Diario de Hoy. So many stories coming up!
What lessons have you learned and from whom?
You never stop learning, but you learn especially when
you’re starting. And being part of a newsroom, in my case, was like going to an
university. The rigourisity for writing a name properly and to check every
single fact from Osvaldo Orcasitas (El Gráfico), the creative mind of Daniel
Roncoli, and the capacity of administration of Julian Mansilla (El Gráfico and
El Diario de Hoy) to name a few.
The profession is constantly changing. What’s the current
situation in El Salvador?
Print journalism is going through a deep crisis, as in many
other places. There are less and less artisans of journalism and more
automatons. And sadly, when it comes to prioritising, quantity comes above
Claudio Martínez (left) with his colleagues of Los Provocadores radio show, Fabio Vides and Gustavo Flores.
After finding out the first details about the upcoming AIPS Sport Media Awards, Martinez is eager to know more. "I think it's a great idea. Looking forward to it and I'm ready to share this information with my colleagues", he says.
How can a prize like this help to the future generations of sports journalists?
By inspiring them, by motivating them. Help them understand that they need to produce content that are worth it, knowing that there is someone, even if it is not their own media outlet, that is tracking this contents and ready to recognise the value of their work.
Speaking of evolution, what’s your preferred format for consuming news?
More and more through social media and websites, in tablet and in a mobile phone. Very few TV, except for live games. And not much digital TV, either.
You’ve been a writer, editor, now radio host. What would like the most and why?
I’ve always had more pleasure for writing, but lately I’ve found enjoying myself on radio, especially in debate shows. You can be spontaneous and the message you deliver has more reach.
Were you ever a victim of fake news in your career?
I was victim as a reader, but every time you read you realise if a news has suspicious content or not. A quick, very quick search is usually enough to realise if it’s true or not.
What is the advice you would give to a younger self that is just starting in the profession?
Never stop learning, because journalism is strongly linked to the technology evolution. If you are not up to date, you become obsolete as a journalist.
Do you think that being more connected to the readers and listeners through social media has made the profession better or more difficult?
In a way it is more difficult, because now the reader is much more informed and has elements to refute in a direct way. But at the same time, it’s also easier, because the exchange of information and ideas between the journalist and the readers, definitely enriches the debate and can bring useful elements to the table.
Media tribune is presented by AIPS Sport Media Awards, a bridge to the future of sport journalism. Divided in 6 main categories, the Awards are a celebration of the best sport storytellers from around the world. Submissions for professionals are free and open until September 17, 2018. Find more and submit your work in www.aipsawards.com