Head of Spain’s EFE on maintaining quality while embracing change

Zaragoza, Spain, Sep 28 (EFE).- Spain’s international news agency EFE is undergoing a transformation to offer new products underpinned by an innovative and transversal approach all the while upholding the quality of its information, the organization’s president Gabriela Cañas told the World News Media Congress Wednesday. 

In her address to the congress, which has convened up to 1,500 media leaders from 80 countries in the Spanish city of Zaragoza, Cañas said EFE was adapting to meet the needs of its clients and was placing particular emphasis on multimedia formats. 

The conference, inaugurated by Spain’s King Felipe VI earlier Wednesday, began with the showing of an EFE-produced video with audio and photographic elements that resumed the year’s coverage so far, including the recent death of Queen Elizabeth II. 

The video’s content included first-hand reporting of natural disasters, notable current events, sporting moments and war captured by the EFE’s 2,000 professionals from across the globe. 

“We believe that the media needs more and more quality, especially within these subscription models, where it is very important that the public has confidence in the brand and in the news we give them,” Cañas told the conference.

“On a much more practical level, we have had to adapt to the new demands of our customers, websites and digitization have moved us to do much more multimedia formatting.”

EFE has undergone internal changes to its workflow and organizational structure, including in the audiovisual sector, a strategic tack, Cañas said, that does not come at the cost of quality. 

And while EFE has placed considerable focus on honing audiovisual products, it is also dedicated to areas of relevance and high demand, such as material on the environment and health. 

“Transparency, as well, is something we have by law” as a public company, Cañas added. “We are very comfortable with that.”

EFE’s commitment to social sustainability was also highlighted in the address, underlined by the agency’s services such as Efeminista and Efeverifica, its fact-checking department, and by the diversity of its workforce, with journalists representing 60 nationalities, as well as its gender equality figures.

Faced with the challenges of disinformation, the president of EFE stressed that the agency has always combined quality journalism with immediacy, and highlighted the work of verifying content with Efeverifica.

While acknowledging that Efeverifica was a source of income for the agency, Cañas said the ultimate aim of the department, a member of the International Fact-Checking Network, is to bring “new things”’ to society and pointed to its work dismantling fake news, which she described as “ticking time bombs against democracy.”

EFE is now working to extend this service into the Americas and offer courses on verification at universities. 

Other elements of EFE’s transformation strategy includes sponsored events, collaboration projects and podcasts such as its latest production with Amazon Music, Tabú Mental. 

Cañas concluded her speech stating that EFE journalism would underpin the agency throughout its transformation.EFE

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