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In light of challenging times, VíaPaís publishes life stories to connect to readers

By Julieta Rico

ViaPaís

Buenos Aires, Argentina

In an environment of hard news — such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic crisis in Argentina, and the war in Ukraine — we thought it was necessary to provide relaxed content and reading.

Our goal was to give our readers colourful news and make them feel part of the VíaPaís site. The team decided to look for life stories or daily gestures that deserve to be spread and shared.

Personal, life-focused stories add levity and hope to news content that is often heavy.
Personal, life-focused stories add levity and hope to news content that is often heavy.

This type of content has a hopeful tone. It shows the good side of entities, people, communities, or narratives that represent places for each city. The topics are usually diverse and can focus on stories of overcoming challenges, ingenuity, or solidarity, among other topics.

These stories decompress the maelstrom of daily news. They also bring us closer to readers since they are the protagonists: The narratives refer to common people and, therefore, they feel part of the media.

Articles are tracked through social networks and take advantage of viral content. On other occasions, the protagonists themselves contact VíaPaís when they see an article similar to a topic on which they have something to share.

It is a task that gives back: Any event can be approached from this perspective. A clear example was the fires in Corrientes. VíaPaís not only covered the hard information of the catastrophe that consumed more than 10% of the provincial territory, but also showed the work of the firefighters and told the story of affected neighbours so that they receive the necessary help.

At the same time, by involving our readers in the content we show on the site — which is also highlighted in a specific space on our homepage — they share the content on their social networks. The articles then have a greater reach.

This type of content requires more production time because, once the story has been detected, it is necessary to contact and coordinate a telephone or virtual interview with the protagonist. Recording the talks is usually more extensive than interviews with economic specialists, for example. Then we must write in a way that captures the essence of the interviewee in the article.

However, the time assigned to these articles ends up being an advantage for the media since it provides different, relaxed, emotional, and extensive content to readers, who might then send in information about stories or events of this nature. This makes the brand circulate in greater volume within social networks.

About Julieta Rico

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