Innovative Individuals: Gustavo Sierra
When professionals think about inspirational multimedia work coming out of South America, the work of producers at El ClarÃn in Buenos Aires, Argentina, frequently come to mind. We have been tracking their work for awhile now, and are especially impressed with the work of Gustavo Sierra, ClarÃn.com’s international news editor, tv host, war correspondent, and published author. His professional history is quite impressive to say the least:
“He was a member of the team that initiated service of CNN en EspaÃ±ol in Atlanta; White House correspondent for NBC-Canal de Noticias and CBS-Telenoticias; correspondent in Chile and Argentina for Univisionâ€”the first Hispanic U.S. television network; and editor of the Latin American service of the Associated Press in New York.”
For this very reason, he was recognized as the 2008 Maria Moors Cabot Prize winner, the oldest international prize in journalism. And, today we are happy to recognize him as this week’s “Innovative Individual.”
Q) How do you drive innovation in your work?
A) I try to beat myself at every single job. It is more a challenge for constant innovation with myself than with the media or others. We are in a crucial moment of technological transformation in communication and we have to experiment with new languages.
My background in print and television allowed me to enter with an advantage to Internet, which is the most complete media invented up to now. I understand how to do multimedia using all tools. But we still have not discovered more than 30% of the possibilities that this platform can give us. Only constant innovation will show us the limits. It is a duty for all who do multimedia to try to find those limits.
I would not have been able to innovate without the work of the Multimedia Team of Clarin.com directed by Javi Elliot. They are seven innovators and we make an effort to introduce one new technological element and language into each work we do.
Q) What piece in your portfolio are you most proud of and why?
A) I am most proud of our first project, â€œLos Espalda Mojada Argentinos,â€ in which we learned everything. I also really like â€œAy, MÃ©xico lindo-La narcoguerraâ€. Curiously enough, both have to do with Mexico â€“ in this one we achieved a huge advancement from the technological point of view and also presentation wise. And of course, I am proud of my columns from Bagdad during the war.
Q) Please provide a brief educational and professional history.
A) I studied and worked in graphic journalism in Argentina. Then I traveled around the world and lived many years in New York, Washington, Atlanta, Laguna Niguel (California), Boston, London, and Santiago Chile. I was awarded a scholarship at Boston University where I did my masters.
Q) Where do you believe multimedia fits into today’s society and how will that role change over time?
A) The information and entertainment will concentrate more and more in displays. From that display, which can be the cell phone, a computer or a TV, will compete all forms of journalism and entertainment. We will all compete there against everybody. Everything will be multimedia. Whoever better knows how to use the multimedia tools will have the bigger audiences.
Q) Whose work do you admire?
A) I always admire the reports and portraits of the New Yorker, BBC and PBSâ€™ documentaries and the impudence of the anonymous in YouTube. If we could mix them together and do only one work, we will have the answer to the multimedia enigma. I really like the work that they do at the New York Times. They explore several roads and successfully achieved a language [in communicating with their audience].
Q) Where do you find inspiration for your ideas?
A) Everywhere. But I get clarity in the shower.
Q) What specific resources do you recommend for A) beginners, B) novices and C) experts to improve their skills in multimedia development?
A) Beginners: Look and study the best people and try to imitate them.
Novices: Study, study and study.
Experts: Leave aside the easiest resources.
Q) What is one thing on your “To-Do” list?
A) Everything. I havenâ€™t done much up until now. I want to keep developing multimedia and present it to awards. Before, I have to try to do everything less heavy, my camera bag, tripod and accessories. I have very heavy equipment and I get too tired.
Want to nominate a deserving colleague, friend or inspirational figure to be highlighted in this series? Confidential nominations can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org on an ongoing basis. Self nominations are also welcome. A person will be featured every Friday, so look for the next “innovative individual” Friday, June 25th!
Tags: editor, El ClarÃn, Gustavo Sierra, multimedia