March 30, 2020 – Total Croatia News is delighted to announce that it has joined Robert Tomic Zuber’s new R+ project, starting tomorrow.
These are crazy times to be in the media in the Balkans (although, thinking about it, I am not sure there is ever a normal time in this fabulous but troubled region), and the fast pace of change in the way information and media is consumed these days means that news portals will have to adapt or die.
It all seems so different to that distant memory in October 2011, when I opened my laptop with a beer in Jelsa on Hvar and typed up my first happy tourism piece for my new blog, Total Hvar.
From a Hvar blog to three Google News portals covering Croatia, Montenegro and Slovenia has been a challenge to keep up with, even without the acceleration of technological change.
But there is no point trying to fight the inevitable. The era of the blogger as a man of words and long articles is going to become a lot more niche than it was, and video is definitely one growth area.
I hate doing video and being on camera, but I am learning that it has become a necessity in the modern media world.
I am grateful to various people I have met and worked with this year – Andreas Wil Gerdes, Gustavo Vilera and Robert Tomic Zuber – the latter one of the region’s most accomplished documentary makers – for showing me the baby steps into this inevitable new media world that TCN will be forced to enter.
Talk of different strategies have been energising (and terriftying), but it was only when I saw in the flesh what young Zuber was putting together for his new R+ media channel, with an initial focus on corona (what else?) that I really began to understand the power of the new approach, particularly in this new era of self-isolating social distancing. Online communications will become ever more important, and video using simple technology can tell individual stories from literally all over the planet in one place.
Robert Tomic Zuber’s R+ launched just over a week ago, as reported by TCN. It showcases stories from the region, as well as stories of people from the region in other places. To give you a flavour, below you can find the top 5 most viewed videos in the early days or R+. Almost all the videos are bilingual with subtitles.
TCN will be joining the R+ network to support the Man from Pula, and our first video report will air on the R+ website tomorrow morning. It will feature TCN CEO Paul Bradbury from his terrace on Hvar talking about the realities of trying to run an independent news portal in Croatia during the corona era. As you can see from the lead photo, the technology is not the most sophisticated, but it does the job. With thanks to Miranda Milicic Bradbury for the video and Janja Sestak for the translation for the Croatian subtitles.
If you like the view, I will be doing more video updates on various topics for TCN from the terrace while we all wait to get our lives back.
In other news, I have started to grow a beard for the first time in 25 years, so if nothing else, the video update might be fun to monitor progress.
The Top 5 most popular R+ videos so far:
Report from a hospital in Pula, Croatia
Zagreb, Be Strong
Kisses from New York
From Madrid… With Love, Marko
Notes from isolation | by Boba Đuderija