María Casado (Barcelona, 40 years old) has spent half her life dedicated to journalism. Since 2005 it is one of the most recognizable faces of Televisión Española. After going through different editions of the Newscast, by Weekly Report and by TVE breakfasts, currently presents La mañana de La 1 for two years. His love for the medium led him to write and publish a book in 2017, Tele Stories (Aguilar), in which he toured Spanish television history from 1956 until the arrival of private channels. On December 19, he took another step in his career by taking possession of the presidency of the Academy of Sciences and Television Arts, replacing Manuel Campo Vidal.
Question. What is the work of the Television Academy?
Answer. It is a meeting place for all of us who dedicate ourselves to television, not only those who put our faces on, but all of the technical part. What the Academy wants is to value the excellence, the good TV and the good work of the professionals of this medium.
P. Why did he want to introduce himself?
R. I am 40 years old, I have been in this profession for half, sharing with some colleagues certain concerns about the coming television, the love for television, and it was time to want to do something, to make this meeting place more open , especially to that television that comes and that part of those professionals who right now are not in the Academy join this project, which is no small task.
P. What is missing from the Academy?
R. The way of making television, the way of watching it has changed a lot in recent years. If a few years ago we were told that we were going to end up sometimes watching television on a mobile phone, we would have died of laughter, but it is true that the Academy was born at a time when we still had a conception of analog television, general, that is still there. The television that comes is much more than all this. Yes, they are the generalists, who are obviously still the backbone of the Academy, but other ways of making television are coming through strong, through new technologies, platforms. What I would like would be to open the dialogue with everyone and finally feel part of that meeting place and share what our day-to-day professional life is like, the challenges we have to face and, above all, think about what We want to make TV a few years from now.
P. Public television is fundamental, what relationship does the Academy have with it?
R. It has always been good. With TVE and regional television there has always been very good treatment. In my team I bring people from TV3, from Canal Sur, from Basque television. We also wanted to cover that part of the territory. I work in Spanish Television, I believe in the importance of what is a public radio and television, in the public service and in the importance of those public media precisely to arrive and offer another type of television. Surely the private televisions have to be dedicated to another fragment, but I do believe in the need to have those public teles in our country.
P. What impact does that public television have today?
R. What I would like, from the heart, is that public radios and televisions in this country cease to be the political toys of one or the other. In the end it is what has been penalizing the good work of many workers of these radios and public televisions. That in the end a government came and changed everything, another came and changed everything, and that is complicated and not healthy. Hopefully you can get that independence from public radios and televisions to be able to work.
P. How has television changed in Spain in the last 20 years?
R. The way of doing it and of seeing it has changed. Many people do not sit in front of a sofa at lunchtime or dinner, but you put the TV through a mobile phone or even the platforms, and see the series or production you want at the time you want . Digitization has made the work much easier. I know of many professionals who make television over the Internet and who go with a mobile phone, a small remote control … the technique has changed a lot and in the end what it does to you especially is to expand the offer, which is always healthy and that Competition makes you better.
P. Do you dare to think what it will be like in the next 20 years?
R. With how fast it goes it's hard to know. It is clear that technological progress, being able to go with a mobile phone and connect at the moment, is no longer that television has changed, it is that in general, technology has managed to change our lives in recent years. I am unable to think how it is going to be, because in recent years the great leap that has taken place on TV in our country has been really impressive.
P. Will the Academy follow the debates of the candidates in the government elections?
R. Generally, the public image that has been given of the Academy in recent years has been the refereeing role in these debates. We are going to be there. I would like that in this country we already had the democratic exercise that the political parties knew of the need to make those debates without there being an arbitrator. The Academy is going to be. What has prevailed over all in the work of the Academy was that these debates were held. With all the limitations of the world. Then the negotiations of the parties … those criticisms that were on the part of many people who said that in the end it was very corseted, that was not the fault of the Academy. I would love to have an open debate, with questions, as we can sometimes see on television in other countries. But in the end those negotiations go beyond what is the Academy, which has always had above all, the thought of holding these debates. Then the negotiations are those that have been putting obstacles and limits to the format.
P. How does the Academy work with the legacy, with the archives of the history of television?
R. It is very important to find the balance between the experience of all those who made and invented television in Spain, which are many of the academics that are part of my team and are the human capital on which to support the new generations that we have come. But we must open the Academy to the new generations. There is a very important part that needs to be taken care of here, which is a file that I discovered when I wrote Tele Stories, which is a file called Living treasures, and it is a file that we are going to treat with a lot of care and continue to make it grow, because it is a file in which the Academy has dedicated all this time to call precisely all those veteran people to tell their experience, how was the tele when he arrived in Spain in the year 56. Things that seem a lie. Now everything is digitized, but the tapes arrived by helicopter to Prado del Rey and were thrown from the air.
P. And a Museum of Television?
R. When I wrote the book last year and started digging through history and diving through Prado del Rey and see what was left in the stores of the house, I realized that many people of my generation would love to have a museum on TV, like They have other countries. I would love it, and I will talk to whoever has to speak and I am sure that this is something that is in the hearts of all the members of the board. I know that the Academy has tried for many years, but they are things that cost.
P. What's wrong with Mediaset, who does not participate in the Academy?
R. Mediaset has not wanted to participate, but I have very clear that it will be part of the work of this Academy. It's not going to make a lot of sense for a television academy if a group like Mediaset is not there, which is the most popular generalist network in this country. I will try by all means to speak and give us a vote of confidence and that they want to be part of the Academy, that they feel part of it.
P. How important are the Iris Awards?
R. What we are going to continue fighting is that the prizes, as happened a few years ago, are televised television awards. That is always in the goal of the Academy. We have to start working now and we want to have a good gala, where everyone is and, above all, at the end we have to have a mirror in which to look and dream. I have always looked with great envy at the Emmy Awards and think that one day we can dedicate ourselves to make a gala like that and mentioning the good TV that is done in this country, which is great and value the talent.
P. What will be the next chapter of History of the tele?
R. The review of the book was from the birth of television in Spain until the private and come to exist more television channels, the offer is expanded. There comes a time of healthy competition, great deals, platforms. More than the next chapter, you would have to write a Espasa encyclopedia again.