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Of the new closing times, the machine that does not stop and the quality


Readers complain about errors in the paper edition and the newsroom changes the organization to improve it

Ricardo de Querol, deputy director of the paper edition, has the most cinematographed responsibility of journalism in EL PAÍS: it is up to him to decide if a piece of news should enter the newspaper when it is already in print.

It is the order behind this legendary phrase: “Stop the machines!”.

Although today that image of a vociferous boss who burst into a room full of workers in blue overalls, busy handling plates and reels of paper next to a thunderous rotary press, is far away.

Since technological advances make it possible to change pages in the middle of the printing process and since the presses are no longer at the headquarters of EL PAÍS, but are contracted to external workshops, the order is resolved in a phone call.

―Hello, please, we change page 24.

No emotion, no epic.

A mere administrative act.

At present it is rare that there is news of national impact at dawn.

On the other hand, adds Querol, the paper newspaper is a "more calm and analytical" product and, therefore, the race to include a hasty piece of news only occurs if it is very relevant.

“If it is not essential, it is better to work on it without the condition of paper and publish it on the web when it is finished”, he adds.

The last time one of these situations occurred was at dawn on January 4, when the news of the death of Nicolás Redondo reached the newsroom.

Iván Vila was responsible for the closure that day and he remembers that printing did not even have to stop, because it was shortly after midnight and it reached the Madrid edition.

“We were the only media that collected this news on paper,” he points out.

new organization

But Redondo's death would not have reached the readers of the paper if it had occurred 10 days later.

Because, since January 15, a new work organization has brought forward the deadline to send the pages to print, which is called internally "the closure".

After years with the time set at 10:30 p.m., the new time limit for the first edition is 10 p.m.

The real change, Querol clarifies, is in the next edition, which is called "scopes" and which until now affected the editions of Valencia, Galicia and Andalusia.

Now it will also include that of Catalonia.

This closure occurs at 11 pm.

Half an hour later, if there is a football game.

The Madrid edition, which with the one in Catalonia closed at one in the morning, is also brought forward at midnight.

And that affects, above all, the Editorial Office, which must finish the texts between half past eight and nine at night.

Does that mean that paper readers are going to miss out on information?

Querol assures that they will barely notice any changes: "We are not going to neglect anything important today."

The newspaper has the ability to organize for late closures, such as in elections;

or like last night, to include the final of the Benidorm Fest, or in the big football competitions.

“The closure is not rigid.

If there is relevant news, it is delayed as long as it takes ”, he affirms.

On the other hand, the digital edition of the newspaper allows the information to be worked on, published and even updated hours after finishing the paper production process.

For the latest news, EL PAÍS has a team of seven people, who is attentive in turns to the most urgent between seven in the morning and midnight, Spanish peninsular time.

When they finish, they do a relay with the Redacción de México.

It is a machine that does not stop.

This allows, according to its manager, Pilar Álvarez, that no story remains uncovered, while the specialized editor gets underway.

The information is not, therefore, the end of the changes in the closing time, but to improve quality control, explains the deputy manager Querol.

"The newsroom has a tendency to speed up the deadlines in the delivery of texts and that causes a flood in the last half hour," he adds.

For this reason, the reorganization implies finishing the texts in a staggered manner.

"The faster the closure is, the more frequent the misprints and errors," says Querol.

"That bothers us a lot."

More quality is just the demand of many readers who write to this defender.

Almost every day there is a mistake in the paper edition (we will talk about the web another day).

"In a text from the Culture section, full page, the writer Dacia Maraini, well known, is spoken of," wrote the reader Miguel Bayón this week.

“In the caption of the photo and in the summaries it says Dacia Naraini.

Conclusion: nobody in the newspaper reads the finished pages”.

Fernando García warned of another error on the first page of the newspaper of February 2, in the opening text, where he wrote "respecting" instead of respecting.

They are just a few examples.

And the efforts to try to improve the quality are laudable, but more filming is needed: two weeks after the new schedule was released, a good part of the texts still arrive with the closing on their heels and this defender knows that there are editors who do not They are aware of the changes.

Achieving excellence is our duty and we fail our readers whenever we don't arrive.

You can direct your questions and suggestions to this email:

Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-02-05

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