The Mario Blog
IAPA’s Digital Summit 2017 opens today in Miami

I am honored to be the keynote speaker to kick off the IAPA’s Digital Summit 2017 in Miami today. More than 150 participants from Latin America, the Caribbean and North America, will gather for the two-day program.



Their challenges are concern are the same as for every other media group globally: transitioning from print to digital, learning to cope with the competition from social media for the audience’s attention, coping with diminishing advertising and declining print circulation ,and, most importantly, creating a culture that favors change and positive disruption in the newsroom.

For the almost 200 participants in the Inter American Press Association   (SIP for its Spanish name) annual SIP Connect gathering, the expectation is that the two-day conference will provide them with tips to return to their newspapers and effect change. The goal of the conference  is to strengthen the media in the southern hemisphere so that publishers can benefit from obtaining greater gains from digital platforms. To that effect, the third annual SIP Connect conference, includes speakers and experts from Spain, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Peru. Executives and editors are participating from a majority of the Latin American countries as well from the United States and the  English-speaking Caribbean.”

Latin America has one of the youngest populations in the world, and, thus, more people connected and getting their news and information via mobile devices.

Ricardo Trotti, CEO of the Inter American Press Association, is convinced that this conference will be a springboard to innovation for many of the Latin American newspaper publishers/editors/designers in attendance.


“Even though there is a greater awareness than a decade ago about the need to embrace the digital transformation, in the industry a fear still persists and a lack of urgency, with the exception of some cases where media outlets with successful experiences are beginning to inspire change and a new culture. This allows that, in spite of the crisis, there is measured optimism. 

“Our industry now understands that transformation is the only possible way to reach sustainability for the media in the future. But the problem is that many are attaching dates to that future, without first attaching the urgency that the topic requires.  What we have is a sort of lack of unity between the wish and the reality.”



Trotti believes that there is uncertainty about the future and a resistance to change, and there is also an accelerated evolution of the processes which conspire against  this lack of urgency. “The transformation,” he says, is delayed because many trust in their existing gains, even small ones, which still help them, such as the traditional means of advertising, circulation and sales of the printed product.


“There is also the fear of the unknown in terms of technological tools, human and economic resources that are essential to effect those changes…..Suddenly, the old known ecosystems where the competition was familiar are gone, and now they compete with new players, such as Facebook and Google, which compete for audiences that are less loyal and fickle, not to mention that these have absorbed a large portion of the advertising pie, as well as the time of the users.

Trotti remains optimistic, however:

          “Having survived the era of recognizing the problem and reacting to the forecasts, now this is the grand era for the                     opportunities.”

The program



8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
> Matt Sanders, Deseret Digital Media and Ricardo Trotti, Sociedad Interamericana de Prensa (SIP)

9:00 – 9:45 a.m.
Storytelling in the digital age.
> Mario García, García Media, New York, New York


9:45 – 10:15 a.m.

Digital sources to sell more in print. How the two platforms can feed each other.
> Mike Blinder, Blinder Group, Tampa, Florida

10:15 – 10:30 a.m.
Coffee break

10:30 – 11:45 a.m.
Segment 1: Different styles of digital transformation

> Matt Monahan, The Washington Post, Washington D.C.; Sergio Marabolí, director de La Cuarta, Chile; Darío Gallo, editor jefe de Clarín digital, Buenos Aires, Argentina y Roberto De Celis, director de Negocios Digitales, Grupo Vocento, Madrid, España. Moderador: Matt Sanders, Deseret Digital Media.

11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m
Segment II: New successful case study of monetizing strategies.
The return of paywalls. 

> Billy Aldea-Martínez, Piano Media, São Paulo, Brasil; Javier Kraviez, gerente de Clarín, Buenos Aires Argentina; Edson Ferrao, Grupo Abril, São Paulo, Brasil. Moderadora: Mindy Marques, The Miami Herald, Miami, Estados Unidos.

1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Keynote Speaker: Víctor Kong, president,  Cisneros Interactive.

2:40-3:00 p.m.
Alexandra Villoch, Vice President Regional, McClatchy Newspapers.

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Segmento III: Videos are the king of content; we all like them and they also have good pay off.

> Carlos Hullet, VivoPlay/TV Venezuela; Johnattan Bilancieri, Cimacast/NTN 24; Darío López, The Associated Press, Ciudad México; Eduardo Suñol, Vicepresidente Digital News, Telemundo. Moderador: Fernando Berckemeyer, El Comercio, Lima, Perú.

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Segmento IV: The cultivating of audiences: how to make sure that we attract new audiences while retaining the loyal ones.

> Alejandro Couce, Vindicia; Gabriel D’Onofrio, Cxsense, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Katherine Haine, President & CEO, CityMedia, Toronto, Canadá. Moderador: José Curiotto, Diario El Litoral, Santa Fé, Argentina.

5:00 – 5:15 p.m.
Coffee break

5:15 – 6:15 p.m.
Segmento V: Metrics + Social Media = Different type of audiences

> El director de Métrica, Eduardo Aguilar y la Editora de Redes Sociales, Renata Sánchez, El Universal de México.  Moderador: Alex Herdoiza, El Comercio, Quito, Ecuador.

6:15 – 6:45 p.m.
Classifieds: one of the best engines of digital transformation
> Rafael Bonnelly

7:00 p.m.
Welcome cocktail.

THURSDAY , June 22

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
> Luis Renato Olivalve y Cláudia Gurfinkel, Facebook, Media Partners LATAM

10:00- 10:30 a.m.
Presentation: Innovation and imagination in those digital platforms
Mauricio Cabrera, creador del sitio

10:30- 10:45 a.m.
Coffee break

10:45- 11:45 m.
Segmento VI: Native Advertising ,Paid Content and Storytelling: three different concepts that go well together

> Eduardo Tessler, consultor Porto Alegre, Brasil; Laura Montoya, especialista en Contenido Patrocinado de la firma Brandforge, Salt Lake City, Utah y Mauricio Cabrera, creador del sitio de México.

11:45 a.m. -12:45 p.m.
New tools and services

Panelistas:  Carlos Martínez, Press Reader, Vancouver, Canadá; Marcos Enriquez, LowPost, Madrid, España; Héctor Botero, ContentEngine, Miami, Florida

12:45- 2:15p.m.

The new SIP Digital Kiosk
Keynote Speakers: Fernando Gómez-Carpintero, Protecmedia
Ivo Cadenas, Consultor de Transformación Digital

2:15- 3:15 p.m.
Segment VII :  The evolution of the newsroom in 2017

Panelistas: Selymar Colón, directora Noticias Digitales, Univisión, Miami, Estados Unidos; Eduardo Tessler, consultor de Innovation, Porto Alegre, Brasil; Sergio Marabolí, La Cuarta, Santiago, Chile; Stephen Ryan, director de Negocios Globales, Deseret Digital Media, Salt Lake City, USA. Moderador: Néstor Altuve, consultor de medios, Panamá.

3:30-4:00 p.m.
Segment VIII: Monetizing mobile content
> Roberto de Celis, gerente de Negocios Digitales del Grupo Vocento de España; Aura Llanas, Marfeel, Madrid, España; Jacinto Montu, Unicorn Games, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Moderador: Ernesto Kraiselburd, El Día, La Plata, Argentina.

4:00-4:15 p.m.
Coffee break

4:15 – 5:00 p.m.
Segment IX: New trends and concepts in web design.

Panelistas:  Iñaki Palacios, Cases i Associats, Miami, Florida; David Sancha, Xalok, Miami, Florida. Moderador: José Ignacio García, LowPost, Miami, Florida

5:00-6:00 p.m.
Google initiatives with media firms 
>Matías Attwell, director de soluciones de Google para editores de medios en español en América Latina.

8:00 – 11:00 p.m.
A night of art and music
TheLabMiami in Wynwood


During my presentation today







TheMarioBlog post #2654


Blog Post01.22.2018—1am
Are we using better photos today?
Blog Post01.19.2018—1am
The challenge of that fold
Blog Post01.18.2018—1am
The Washington Post: another profitable year
Blog Post01.17.2018—1am
Did I really read that much?
Blog Post01.15.2018—4am
The Guardian changes more than just the format
Blog Post—1am
Are vulgar words now part of a journalist’s styleguide?
Blog Post01.12.2018—4pm
The new New York Times campaign
Blog Post01.11.2018—1am
The good news about paying for content
Blog Post01.08.2018—3pm
Prof. Miguel Urabayen (1926-2018): Tribute to a grand maestro
Blog Post—2pm
Fire & Fury: Here’s a cover that tells more of the story
Blog Post—1am
End of print edition for Montreal’s La Presse
Blog Post01.07.2018—11am
Happy New Year…..I am back, sort of
Blog Post12.19.2017—10am
My prediction for 2018: we will write, edit & design for mobile
Blog Post12.13.2017—1am
Best wishes for the holiday season!
Blog Post12.12.2017—1am
Every year should be year of the audience
Blog Post12.11.2017—1am
The Post Most: curated content as easy as 1-2-3
Blog Post12.08.2017—1am
The power of a comic
Blog Post12.07.2017—1am
Those European ePapers Continue Growing
Blog Post12.06.2017—1am
Journalism students and print (not a romance)
Blog Post12.05.2017—1am
The nuances of using ragged right type
Blog Post12.04.2017—1am
Monocle’s habit-forming daily briefing
Blog Post12.01.2017—1am
2018: More digital everything, more of the Trump factor
Blog Post11.30.2017—1am
That time of the year to think what next
Blog Post11.29.2017—1am
Apple goes romantic
Blog Post11.28.2017—1am
E-mail newsletters can be a real seductive hook
Blog Post11.27.2017—8am
An e-newsletter with visual appeal
Blog Post11.21.2017—1am
So 2017 was really NOT the year of video……
Blog Post11.20.2017—1am
The New York Times: the Spanish weekly
Blog Post11.17.2017—5am
Paywalls, storytelling highlight Latin American conference
Blog Post11.15.2017—5am
In Argentina: the hot topic is “paywalls”
Blog Post11.14.2017—1am
The NY Times’ Jobs Classified: Really?
Blog Post11.13.2017—1am
At The New York Times: a kids section on Sunday
Blog Post11.10.2017—12am
“I read it on Facebook.”
Blog Post11.09.2017—12am
The flow of a breaking new story in the mobile era
Blog Post11.08.2017—12am
When content hits the spot
Blog Post11.07.2017—12am
When hierarchy makes a statement
Blog Post11.06.2017—12am
When the advertising wraps around
Blog Post11.03.2017—1am
New Hebrew fonts from Typotheque
Blog Post11.02.2017—1am
Favorite branding logos? No surprises
Blog Post11.01.2017—7am
A New York terrorist attack on the front pages
Contact us with speaking requests, questions or to discuss a project.