We were so happy. Or at least that’s what happened in a world in which almost everything was direct contact.
The conversations between people were between people, alive and well. The messages were frequent and there were delivery systems whereby one wrote on a sheet of paper and in a small envelope sent it to the interested person through the postal system: one had to wait to find out if the aforementioned recipient: “He loves me.” -he doesn’t love me-he loves me-he doesn’t love me…”
This was true for the personal sphere, but it was also true in the workplace, in business, in business, in religious belief groups or in politics or government, and so many more.
And not to mention taking photos. There were the little cameras in which our happiest moments were recorded on rolls of film purchased separately, and which were for 12 or 24 “exposures” then, in the case of nighttime ones, we had to put “flash” bulbs on the famous device to illuminate the space of our photographic interest.
Of course there is the journalistic field. Then and now there was – and in notable cases there is no – a more beautiful symphony than the loud sound of almost uniform typing in a newsroom. It was almost always in the afternoon, after five o’clock, when the team of reporters returned with their notes written on a folded pad and in handwriting that only each one understood…
Either it was the famous handheld recorder that you had to put in your ear from time to time and turn off to stop while you typed what the interviewee had told us or it was the thunderous statement of that or that official about what he had in his hands. …
The reporters, editors, proofreaders, editors, editorialists and even columnists came to the editorial office to write their text on the thundering machines with hard but loving keys. An original was made on revolution paper and a thousand copies so that the editor-in-chief, proofreader, desk manager, designer…
That live, full-color newsroom was a world apart. A world in which each of the reporters and members of the editorial team were as if possessed by the soul of good journalism and, therefore, were determined to have the best journalism for the next day in a healthy competition between media. for bringing the exclusive, the best note, report, chronic interview… That’s how it was and still is.
There was an unusual boom in good journalism at the end of the seventies after Luis Echeverría’s coup d’état against Excélsior on July 8, 1976, and whose journalists, aggrieved by freedom of expression, created the political magazine Proceso, with such an impact. which lasted for years as a reference for good political and cultural journalism. It became essential weekly reading…
… While little by little other journalists of the same origin formed media as innovative and equally impressive as UnomásUno and the magazine Razones, to later give way to the best moment of La Jornada…
But, well, it was the theme of the beautiful symphony that was heard in the newsrooms of many print and electronic media while each day’s history was being written.
The first contact with the new world of technology and science was at the beginning of the eighties, in UnomásUno itself, when suddenly someone called the attached management office to announce the most unheard-of-unsuspected-unpredictable discovery that man had invented and that seemed like a demonic work… Or at least it left those of us who witnessed the phenomenon that day with our mouths open:
It was neither more nor less than the fax. The fax! A remarkable invention indeed. A crucial moment for everyone there in that loving newsroom filled with journalists who are supposed to be surprised by nothing.
How was it possible that from a remote place you could place a sheet of paper, and in the matter of pressing a few keys on a device connected to the light and the telephone, it reached another unknown point? It was something unbelievable. But it was also the beginning of a new era.
The digital age of journalism had begun. And the person in charge of carrying the news to all of us was the fax machine.
The reporter would no longer have to dictate his note from the scene to a receiver in the newsroom who, with a phone on his shoulder and quick hands on a hard-key typewriter, wrote what the news messenger at the front dictated. . No. Not anymore.
Now I could write it far away, put in the elongated device with the lid lifted to place on top of a glass with a moving light below, the sheet that would be copied and sent in the blink of an eye.
Here it was received and although it had to be captured for editing purposes, things were different. It was so great and wonderful. But still the symphony of those Remington, Olivetti, Olympia typewriters was music from heaven…
One day, in another newsroom, this time in the El Financiero newspaper, I was suddenly told that my Remington hard-key machine would have to go down in history because another invention had arrived that would disrupt our daily lives. our way of understanding each other with information, the way of saying, with a clean stroke of the keyboard, what has to be reported…
It was, neither more nor less, than the computer. A huge device with a huge screen and a huge keyboard but with just a light touch to write almost silently, almost like breathing in the ear, almost like a whisper and in a strangely connected way.
For my part, I resisted as much as I could. It didn’t seem necessary to me to do my work on those machines that, on the other hand, I didn’t understand and that were a “little boy’s” thing. I did not want to betray my machine of so much time, of so many illustrious moments for me, of so many notes-reports-interviews-chronicles-opinion articles that passed through its keys and its rollers.
Nothing: “either you leave that machine and connect to the network of the computerized system or you will not be able to be connected with everyone, much less facilitate the work of the entire team,” Rogelio Cárdenas, the newspaper’s director, told me very kindly.
And so that: we had to begin this new stage of journalism on a computer that at first caused me amazement because, accustomed to the solid keyboard, I hit the keys, which were soft and beautiful like ladies, as if it were a hammer to a nail.
From now on nothing would be the same. Nothing is the same. The novelty became a model of professional and personal life.
That same computer was incorporating different innovations that made them even more involved in the daily work of journalism. Text editing; design; the selection of images; the punctual nod, the newspaper format, the various illustrations, the advertising… so-so.
Then came the cell phone by which the reporter could stop having a press photographer at his side who would record what the reporter was discovering. National graphic journalism is one of endless glories and laurels.
But with the phone the reporter could take his own images and send them to the newsroom computer along with the already written note and he would only have to “open” the information and images on the newsroom desk to send to each of the the sections and form the newspaper after the editorial work meeting at six in the afternoon.
All this madness cost many of us “blood, sweat and tears.” An inexplicable but indispensable feat today due to the advancement of science, technology, digitalization, the internet, the web and all that is what journalism is today…
All this has created a new way of doing journalism: technology and science changed our lives, not the other way around.
And so it is. What followed is an issue that we will discuss separately: the arrival of social networks, digital journalism, digital newspapers and the threat to the paper newspaper. But we will also talk about something that cannot fail to be said with half-closed eyes: the love of journalism.
Everything in a nutshell in a next moment in the life of journalism in Mexico during the last forty-five years that have passed like a sigh, like the sound of ringing with a thumb, like the thunder of a kiss, or like the sigh of love .