May 31, 2020

25 years of ‘The 2 News’: The mature age of the young informative | Television

Lorenzo Mila was in San Cugat del Vallés that day of 1994, at the Spanish television headquarters in Catalonia. He alternated, after a brief professional experience in England, a job as a sports content editor with the presentation of To the debate, one of many cultural programs of the eighties and nineties. The phone rang. Ramón Colom, then director of Spanish TelevisionI had an offer for him. The proposal sounded vague. The little that the journalist made clear of that conversation was that it was an informative "aimed at young people." The call concluded with a suggestive statement: "I would like us to speak it."

When he arrived in Madrid, Mila was surprised that the work to start the emissions of that project that Colom had told him about, The 2 News, I was already advanced. A team headed by a young Fran Llorente, first news director, and the director Fernando Navarrete had almost completely defined the format. The story on the hierarchy of information would prevail; you would bet on ecology, human rights, less commercial cultural offer, technology … "We spoke the same language," recalls Milá, now TVE correspondent in Rome. Llorente agrees, who believes that the same connection was made with the spectators: "The way of communicating resembled that of the street. We came to make decisions thinking that we were on the other side. There was a common identity with the spectators, which made that the trick will work. " On November 7, 1994 they started, with a accomplice "Hello how are you" at the beginning, defying the authority of "Good night".

That camaraderie of the beginning contributed to establish the image of a young audience of passionate about music, independent cinema and militants in social or environmental causes. Perception, between reality and fiction, would last for years: it was easy to imagine a wounded novelist in front of the screen.

Lorenzo Milá on the set of 'La 2 Noticias' during the 20002001 season

Lorenzo Milá on the set of 'La 2 Noticias' during the 2000/2001 season

Over the past two decades, however, things have changed: in the program, in the chain, in the industry. "That image is an inheritance from the beginning, but that all audimeters show us that it is not real. Today we have, like the rest of the chain, an average age between 55 and 65," says César Vallejo, director of content digital news since 2018.

Hence, the journalist, along with the director Eva de Vicente, has opted to undertake a "small revolution" in the news: join the young audience, today increasingly disconnected from the generalist chains and almost completely unplugged from the rigidity of their schedules. The present is fundamentally digital and for this reason, Vallejo has marked from the beginning his intentions in this "transformation" stage. "The first decision I made was to renew the equipment to include journalists under 25 years of age," he says, adding: "The second, to create content only for digital formats. We had to abandon the idea, so common on television, of that we must broadcast on antenna what then we will release In Internet".

But if something has changed the program – around 2% of screen share this season and just under 300,000 viewers, far from the almost three million of the time of Milá – that has been the live performances of groups and soloists with those that close each issue for a year. "There are great programs that record live music, such as The muse hour, but that broadcast it live there are less and less. And if we think only of the news, we were the pioneers, "Vallejo proudly encourages the idea. The afternoon of this Wednesday was the singer-songwriter from Malaga Anni B. Sweet who accompanied them, but the range of artists with whom they have ample. Torrespaña has played the neat pop rock of Young Madrid Chelsea Boots and they would have no problem, they confess, in receiving more conspicuous artists, such as Barcelona trap singer Bad Gyal, to which they wait.

For a year, the face in front of the screen is that of Paula Sainz-Pardo, who succeeded Mara Torres –news presenter from 2006 to 2018– and that at 29 he is a nod to the audience that the news seeks to capture. Tuning in again with young people would be "a return to the origins" that, he says, excites him. "The key to reaching that audience is to tell the news by developing our formats, which are based on letting the image suggest, that the voice does not get too much into what we have," he says.

Sainz-Pardo defends that the news should take on a new digital life, but is not sure that the content offer must be the same. It is a doubt in which the team is discussed, the chain itself and even general television. The bet involves the risk that the digital effort leaves the traditional format in the background and the faithful viewer is forgotten. Even so, change seemed necessary. “They have told me that we were making an informative for an audience that no longer exists,” confesses more than one of them privately. Lorenzo Mila raises the dilemma without melancholy, without nosalgia: “We must know that, probably, generalist chains also have an expiration date ”.

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