On April 16, the Círculo Ecuestre held a new episode of the series of talks: Opinion Leaders with the notable participation of Joaquín Manso, director of El Mundo. 

After the presentation of the event, led by the president of the Círculo Ecuestre, Enrique Lacalle, the journalist had a dialogue with the lawyer and also journalist Ricardo Fernández Deu.

Manso began the presentation by sharing some reflections on the history and editorial principles of the newspaper he leads: "The team with current positions of responsibility at El Mundo belong to the generation that became journalists by reading the newspaper. It was founded in peculiar circumstances: it was the most modern of the paper newspapers and it has been the most modern of the digital ones".

The current director of the newspaper highlighted the newspaper's "commitment to investigative journalism", recalling emblematic cases such as the GAL or the Filesa Case, which marked milestones in the history of Spanish journalism. "Influence is the ambition that moves us every day. Being a journalist is not easy, it involves a lot of work, a lot of exposure to public criticism and it is not always well paid. The ambition for information to cause social change is the reason belonging to the journalist", he stressed.

“All newspapers make an effort to generate influence on public opinion. But we have a particularly fierce style. We are not satisfied with being current notaries, but rather we aspire to shape the perspective with which the reader approaches the great issues of today", he added and then reaffirmed the purpose of El Mundo: "We must make an effort to surprise the reader every day, in a differential way, if there may always be something they don't like". “A strong journalist is capable of removing himself from that type of atmosphere”, he added.

The dialogue also addressed the challenge of journalism in the digital age and the impact of social media on public perception of the truth. Given this, Manso opined that "the diffusion of the paper newspaper has fallen to almost anecdotal volumes. It is on the margin of profitability, but it continues to offer an unmatched intangible. It gives a prestige and credibility that digital natives do not have".

“The future will be digital without a doubt. The tools of Artificial Intelligence will favor our efficiency, giving us a creative opportunity. “AI has a risk component, but fundamentally it represents an opportunity”, said the journalist. “The future involves believing and being clear about our strength and what citizens expect from the media. We are in a moment of crisis of truth, of rational discourse, not only because of Artificial Intelligence, but because of the moral prestige that lies have acquired”, he commented. “The challenge for the media is to be able to differentiate truth from lies regardless of which side of the wall you are on”, he stated.

The event concluded with a political analysis in which Fernández Deu asked the journalist's opinion on the Catalan panorama ahead of the elections on May 12. Given this, Manso declared that “Catalonia will continue to be agitated regardless of the result” since “it is difficult for a scenario of stability to appear after the result of the elections”. “The polls are not completely accurate, there are many citizens who are not even aware that an electoral panorama is approaching”, he added.

After stating that “ERC is particularly weak” and that “Illa is reasonably solid”, the director of El Mundo said that “what happens in the Basque Country may have an effect on what happens in Catalonia”. Regarding a possible return of Carles Puigdemont prior to the elections, he assured that "Puigdemont has reinforced the impression that the government of Spain is in his hands" and that "he sees it as very controversial that a judge detains him without a crime of violence and with the Amnesty Law in progress” in case it returns. Still, he declared that, although he does not see it likely that he will come before the elections, “yes, if he wins.”