French journalist and essayist Jean-François Fogel, in a file photo.
The French journalist and essayist Jean-François Fogel has died this Sunday at the age of 76, after having suffered a stroke in Paris, the city where he lived.
After having worked for the France-Presse news agency, for the
newspaper or for the weekly
, he gained great importance by driving the digital transformation of different media around the world, starting with the prestigious
at the end of the century. past and beginnings of this.
Fogel was recognized as one of the great pioneers and leaders in the long process of newspapers to adapt to the digital world, but also for his important role in the Gabo Foundation.
As president of his governing council, he knew how to bring his vision to the institution that manages the journalistic legacy of Colombian Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez, and adapt it to times of rapid change.
Fogel's teachings and experience have had a great impact not only on the companies he advised, both in Europe and Latin America, but mainly on the hundreds of journalists who have attended the Gabo Foundation workshops, and also among the students from the Paris Institute of Political Sciences (Sciences Po) that passed through his hands, most recently in the Executive Master of Media Management that he directed.
Fogel's vision was embodied in 2005 in
La prensa sin Gutenberg
, a seminal book that he wrote together with his project partner Bruno Patino, current president of the ARTE channel, and in which they developed the impact that technology and the internet would have on the following decades. on journalistic companies, and also on readers and citizens.
After Fogel's time at
, he made the leap to another of the industries that would be affected by technological disruption, that of television, in a new adventure with Patino.
Together they would be in charge of defining and implementing the future strategy of France Télévisions, the public television company in France.
Starting in 2010, Fogel dedicated a good part of his time advising one of the most important French newspaper groups, SudOuest, combining it with his teaching spirit and his facet as an essayist and writer.
Among his work, in addition to the aforementioned
La prensa sin Gutenberg
the Fin de siglo en La Habana stand out
, about the secrets of the collapse of Fidel Castro, or The Testament of Pablo Escobar, about the Colombian drug trafficker, a country to which Fogel felt very attached.
In an article for EL PAÍS in 2009, Fogel wrote: “Technological development and, above all, mobile phones favor nomadism.
We are going to an audience permanently connected to a wireless network.
And this implies changes in behaviour, since connected people discover new content consumption and places and moments that did not exist before the mobile phone.
The way out of the crisis will be with the phone in your pocket”.
It did, as with many of Fogel's other predictions.
At 76, he was still very active intellectually and professionally, in different projects.
Last year he joined the Latin American Council of Prisa Media, the publishing company of EL PAÍS, with personalities from the region such as Mónica González, Rubén Blades, Michael Shifter or Alicia Bárcena.
Reactions to Fogel's death have not taken long to arrive among his colleagues: "Jean-François had a deep knowledge of and interest in Latin America and Spanish-American culture, he was a good friend of Gabo, whom he met in the early 1950s. 70, he loved journalism and literature, he was concerned about freedom of expression and the quality of democracy in the region and he did first of all what we call digital transformation today, of which he became a practical expert,
generous promoter and clairvoyant guide.
He is irreplaceable and we will miss him a lot, but we will always remember him and we will pay him the tribute he deserves at the 11th Gabo Festival in Bogotá”, wrote Jaime Abello Banfi, general director of the Gabo Foundation, after hearing the news.