My last gasps with ‘the data’ online

That of my last breaths could be true, because the new digital era confronts the media with a chilling reality according to which, for those of us who have lived for seven decades, the compass by which we were guided is no longer the same and the planet Earth is now the virtual planet. In paper journalism, on open television, on the radio, our avatars are as fast-paced and accelerated as those of a roller coaster, trying to step on solid ground and focusing on virtual spaces at the same time.

In the digital universe, what comes close to a guide is called “data”, or the data that makes us know immediately where the interests of the reader users go and also their way of accessing our medium. There we see the number of visits, the time of their reading, their links to networks and the whole range of possibilities in a computer impact. In my days working on broadcast television, the rating caused my baldness. But I was amused. Telecommuting was only in science fiction movies and the war — or the media competition — was kind of frontal.

Not now. That data that seems to us to measure the trendiest —another term equally fashionable— makes us doubt every word we write, especially when our trench (Diario EL UNIVERSO) turns one hundred years in September and our north now is to virtuality. I can no longer go bald and I will never be homesick. But I do feel like that astronaut flying to Jupiter in the glorious final scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Stanley Kubrick, help us.

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