Argentina’s La Nacion Engages Readers By Making them Writers

Argentina's oldest daily, La Nacion, which has been in business for 130 years and reaches 1,000,000 readers monthly through its print edition, has taken an unprecedented step in Latin media by inviting readers to submit their own photographic and editorial content via the paper's website, LaNacion.com.ar.

Speaking before a packed audience at Miami's Ad-Tech on Tuesday, La Nacion's Online Marketing Manager Francis Petty told the audience of its new reader engagement initiative, which has been implemented to great effect in recent months.

"With the widespread usage of digital cameras and mobile phones, regular citizens are in the position to capture compelling images of news as it happens." He pointed to a recent story involving a large fire, in which a reader photographed the incident and submitted it to the website. The image ran on the front page of the next day's print edition.

On the editorial side of things, the paper recently ran a story tited Dios y Yo, or God and Me, which examined the role of God in every day peoples lives. "Readers submitted their own experiences, and we selected certain submissions and edited them into a compelling and readable piece," said Petty. "Our writers were naturally a bit unsettled, but the story was a great success. Readers responded very positively, and the greater engagement that it created was undeniable.

Other initiatives have included an online video forum in which readers submit questions to the paper, which are then posed to prominent figures, such as elected officials.

La Nacion's website currently clocks 8,5 million unique users per month according to Petty, and the interactive initaitves have been credited with fostering the site's growing online readership.

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