This Wednesday, the Círculo Ecuestre celebrated the second episode of the Opinion Leaders cycle, with the notable presence of Julián Quirós, director of ABC.

After the welcome from the president of the Círculo Ecuestre, Enrique Lacalle, the journalist conducted an extensive dialogue with the lawyer and also journalist Ricardo Fernández Deu in which he reviewed current news in the media and his role as opinion leaders. 

After briefly reviewing the political panorama that occupies the media today, Julián Quirós defined himself as follows: “I am not a racial journalist, I am a journalist from the provinces.”

The director of ABC gave his opinion on the effect that social networks have on the dissemination of information compared to the work of the media and, after assessing the paradigm shift that occurred during the pandemic, expressed that “society tries to find the brand and the firm regarding the appearance of false content on social networks and the recent appearance of artificial intelligence”. He also added that “public opinion is not led from the networks”, but rather “it continues to be generated in the newsrooms of four or five newspapers”.

Asked about an alleged crisis in the journalistic sector, Julián Quirós told the colloquium attendees that “journalism is not in crisis, but the distribution of news is”. “Half of our digital traffic is in the hands of a third party, a big monster called Google that distributes according to its algorithm”, he lamented. Given this situation, the media director assessed that “subscriptions are going well, but they are not enough. Journalism still has to find new ways”. Continuing along this line, Quirós criticized the modus operandi of “some media outlets that rely on massive subscriptions” something that, in his opinion, “brings a lot of volume, but undervalues the business.”

Regarding the subsistence of newspapers under subsidies, the director of ABC said that he does not like them and then reported that Vocento, the editorial group to which he belongs, “only has 2 or 4% of subsidies in its budget”. “The media must try to be as least dependent as possible, if there is a problem we must be able to say it. Our autonomy will be greater if we do not depend on anyone”, he emphasized.

Quirós defined the ABC as “an institution that has played a key role in Spain, which has successively renewed itself in its 120 years of history”, something that continues to do today “in technological and generational terms”. He also argued that it is “a newspaper of maturity and of choice by readers”. After this statement, the journalist concluded his presentation by saying that “the role of the media is to dissent and to do so we must have a healthy income statement”, alluding to the recent closure of the printed edition of ABC in Catalonia.