In a move that caused surprise among the Spanish publishing market, Arcadi Espada, director of the new Factual.es digital newspaper, resigned yesterday only two months after the first edition went live.
Espada was deeply involved in the development of Factual.es, and there are doubts about the future of the newspaper, which was thought of by some as the director’s personal project. His final editorial blames differences between the management strategy and his own perspective on the project for his departure.
“Everyone who invests his money in a business has the right to exert some control over it. In the same way I also have to protect the direction of a journalistic model which I’ve worked on for the last two years. Because of that time, Factual can’t really be considered a brief personal experiment.”
His newsroom deputy Cristina Fallaras followed suit soon after his resignation.
The publication’s management team have announced Juan Carlos Girauta as the new director, and assured staff that it will take into account the efforts of all who worked for the digital newspaper. Changes are already underway however and it seems likely that the majority of the newsroom staff will be laid off in order to accommodate to the new director’s team.
Today staff members were unable to go about their work as usual after login details and passwords were reportedly changed in the administration system. One member of staff said that they were waiting for more information on the situation, and that no one was really in charge: “They asked us to work today and tomorrow but it’s a bit strange, when you know you’re going to be fired, to work in the meantime.”
Factual.es offered readers a different approach to digital layout, and charged for part of their online content with a €50 yearly subscription.
Twenty people currently work for Factual.es across two newsrooms, one in Barcelona and one in Madrid