The Mario Blog
Journalists and cocktail parties: not a happy mojito these days

Don’t know if this happens to everyone in our business, but, have you noticed that the moment you share that you are in the media to a gathering at a social event, the conversation turns to: why can’t you guys stick to the news, and leave the opinions out?

Oh, dear, it’s happening too often. It can be painful. It can be a bit frightening. It’s getting repetitious.

I am talking about how the world at large feels about the craft of journalism, the subject of fake news, the reign of pundits and, well, you get the picture.

For the past three months, this has gotten worse. I just had a wonderful weekend of family festivities, the kind where the bubblies flow, with refills reaching you without you requesting them, and where those who know you are in “journalism” immediately get on your case.

What is the main theme:

Please, journalists, stick to the news. Don’t take us for granted. Don’t take sides. One can hardly turn to a newspaper, radio station, online newspaper or TV network without a bunch of well paid pundits who sit on one side of the issues and don’t let it go—-or look at the other side!

And, by the way, I am not talking just about Trumpians in the audience.  Of course, our cause is not aided at all when the President himself considers our profession as the real opposition, the creators of fake news, etc.

There seems to be a total discontent by people on both sides of the fence with how we do what we do, and this was echoed strongly by  none other than Jon Lovett, Co-host of Pod Save America, host of Lovett or Leave It,  in CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday.

“So often on CNN there’s a world class journalist interviewing campaign rejects and ideologues and silly, craven people who do not care about informing people, that aren’t there to help people understand what’s going on in the news,” Lovett said.

Go here to see the interview with Brian Stelter:


So how do I respond?

Usually, these are social gatherings where nobody wants to get into a serious argument, so I simply tell the doctors, lawyers or carpenters in front of me that no profession is perfect but that not everyone is a disgrace to his/her profession either.  Smiles usually follow, and there is always a fast and furious fanatic who will be like the man, who when told I taught at the School of Journalism, asked with a sarcastic half smile: Do they call it the School of Lies now?

That’s the exception, however. I admit that most people are discreetly polite and ,while i doubt that I convince anyone that not all is lost for our profession, the conversation usually turns to other topics, while I reach for another glass of Veuve Clicquot.

I have learned in my 70 years that nothing is ever as good or as bad as it seems. This, too, will pass.

What’s 3 years and 9 months?

The issue of media and trust

And now it seems that people trust advertising more than the news.

I am not happy at all to read a new  survey which finds that 61% of people trust the advertising they see, an 11% jump from March 2014, according to eMarketer. In addition, 72% of respondents also said the ads are “honest,” a 16% increase over the past two years.

Yet, the most recent Gallup poll on trust in media shows that 68% of Americans don’t trust the news – the lowest rate ever measured. The shift shows that as people trust established media brands less, they are turning towards unconventional sources of information, like social platforms.

The conversation at cocktail parties definitely reflects the results of these findings.


…..and the reason we see marketing campaigns like this one from the WSJ

The pursuit, protection and promotion of truth have always been essential. It is at the heart of everything we do, which is what makes The Wall Street Journal America’s most trusted newspaper.



A reminder from Poynter

This article suggests that a requirement for journalists is a “thick skin”. Amen. Read on:


Speaking Engagements Coming Up

I will be speaking at these events in the weeks ahead:

Webinar for Crowdynews: open to all

March 29, 9 a.m. EST

The brief: What trends should every publisher embrace in 2017? According to Dr. Mario Garcia, top-of-mind should include digital storytelling, email newsletters, and sponsored content.

Mario Garcia, world renown storyteller, editorial designer, and digital strategy consultant, will share practical steps news organizations can embrace to offset the disruptive forces rocking the news industry. During this 60-minute webinar, Mario will introduce a concept and then open the floor for a discussion on implementation and best practices sharing stories of those who are realizing success.”

In this webinar, Dr. Garcia will cover how to: 

1) Go where your readers are: mobile. How do you create a more visually compelling and interactive experience for your mobile users while facing the challenge of a smaller screen size?

2) Be the source of their news – starting with their inbox every morning. How do you create a personalised, informative, and indispensable newsletter for your audience? 

3) Serve your readers with high quality, non-obstructive ads or face ad blockers. How do you organize your newsroom to offer sponsored content while not compromising editorial integrity?

To register, go here:

VOZ Media Conference

April 6
Vienna, Austria

I will be the keynote speaker for this event, my presentation titled The important role of print in the digital age. This presentation presents a state of the media today, with emphasis on how we tell stories visually on mobile devices, the role of print and the importance of email newsletters and sponsored content to find new ways of promoting content and monetizing your operation.

For more information


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Contact us with speaking requests, questions or to discuss a project.