The Mario Blog
Every year should be year of the audience

For those looking for clues as to what the new year 2018 may bring for media, take a look at a new report from The New York Times calling for the Year of the Audience, and appointing three new positions to make sure it happens.

Everything we do, the copy we write and edit, and the pages and/screens we design, aim at the audience.

It is our reason to be.

In 2017, a catchy phrase was “audience engagement”, something that social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, among others, took care of in abundance.  In seminar after seminar, I heard my fellow speakers relate audience engagement strategies as key: “create a clear path for how your content moves on social media”, “allow for commentary after articles; the audience likes to respond”, “monitor comments properly to stimulate discussion and debate.”  In a nutshell: if your audience is involved, it is likely to return, and, as a result, pay for content consumed. Maybe.

Because 2018 is shaping out to be the year of Paywall Reconciliation for so many newspapers worldwide, it makes perfect sense that we think of audience engagement as a way to guarantee that the process of paying for content becomes more real and successful.



(Image courtesy of

At The New York Times

So, now The New York Times declares 2018 Year of Audience.  Good idea, but I also think that for good editors everywhere, every year has been the year of the audience.

The newsroom is redoubling its focus on audience and establishing three new leadership positions that will play central roles in developing the Times’ audience strategy . Read more in this note from Dean Baquet, executive editor, Joe Kahn, managing editor, James Bennet, editor, Editorial Page, and Cliff Levy, deputy managing editor:

Our journalism has never been stronger than in recent months — and our audience has responded. We now have more than 3.5 million paid subscriptions and more than 130 million monthly readers, more than double our audience just two years ago.

But we have more work to do if we’re going to realize our ambitions of reaching still more people with Times journalism and adding millions of subscribers in the years ahead.

That’s why we want to make 2018 the year of audience.

Our goal is to ensure that our audience is at the core of our work. That means developing an even clearer view of who we’re going after, how we can best compete for their time and attention and how we can demonstrate to those who don’t yet know us well that Times journalism is so valuable that it’s worth paying for.

To do so, The Times is establishing three new leadership positions that will play central roles in the evolution and running of the newsroom.  Click the link in each job title to see a fuller description and learn how to apply.


Mario’s Speaking Engagements



April 18-19, 2018-Newscamp ,Augsburg,  Germany.





May 26, 2018Associacion Riograndense de Imprensa, Univesidad de Santa Cruz (Unisc), Brazil



June 3-6, 2018The Seminar, San Antonio, Texas.




Our digital transformation workshops

If you would like to find out more about our workshops for digital transformation, email me:

I will be happy to answer your questions and provide more information. Our workshops are offered in both English and Spanish.



TheMarioBlog post #2748





Blog Post01.22.2018—1am
Are we using better photos today?
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The challenge of that fold
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The Washington Post: another profitable year
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Did I really read that much?
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The Guardian changes more than just the format
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Are vulgar words now part of a journalist’s styleguide?
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The new New York Times campaign
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The good news about paying for content
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Prof. Miguel Urabayen (1926-2018): Tribute to a grand maestro
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Fire & Fury: Here’s a cover that tells more of the story
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End of print edition for Montreal’s La Presse
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Happy New Year…..I am back, sort of
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My prediction for 2018: we will write, edit & design for mobile
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Every year should be year of the audience
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The Post Most: curated content as easy as 1-2-3
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Those European ePapers Continue Growing
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Journalism students and print (not a romance)
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The nuances of using ragged right type
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Monocle’s habit-forming daily briefing
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2018: More digital everything, more of the Trump factor
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That time of the year to think what next
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Apple goes romantic
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E-mail newsletters can be a real seductive hook
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An e-newsletter with visual appeal
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So 2017 was really NOT the year of video……
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The New York Times: the Spanish weekly
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Paywalls, storytelling highlight Latin American conference
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In Argentina: the hot topic is “paywalls”
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The NY Times’ Jobs Classified: Really?
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At The New York Times: a kids section on Sunday
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“I read it on Facebook.”
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The flow of a breaking new story in the mobile era
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When content hits the spot
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When hierarchy makes a statement
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When the advertising wraps around
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New Hebrew fonts from Typotheque
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Favorite branding logos? No surprises
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A New York terrorist attack on the front pages
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