Mario is the CEO and founder of García Media. He is also the Senior Adviser for News Design / Adjunct Professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York. Mario has consulted with over 700 media companies in 121 countries over more than forty years. Trained as a journalist, Mario is strongly committed to the idea that content is what determines the success of a brand; his work and teaching is based on his “WED” philosophy, of combining writing, editing and design as basic principles for effective communication of ideas.
All of his projects command the attention and special personalized service that is part of the Mario trademark, from such large projects as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Aftenposten (Norway), South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), Postmedia's Canadian metro newspapers including the Ottawa Citizen and Montreal Gazette, New Straits Times (Malaysia), the business weeklies of American City Business Journals, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Handelsblatt (Germany), Die Zeit (Germany) and RIA/Moskovskiye Novosti (Russia); to medium-size newspapers, such as The Charlotte Observer and Göteborgs-Posten (Sweden); to smaller ones such as the Lawrence (Kansas) Journal-World and the weekly of the oil and energy industry, Upstream (Norway). He and the García Media team are currently helping The McClatchy Company rethink its 29 daily newspapers, including the Miami Herald, Sacramento Bee and Kansas City Star.
At Columbia Journalism School, Mario teaches a course on multi-platform design and storytelling. In his role as Senior Adviser on News Design, he recently redesigned the Columbia Journalism Review's website. He was previously appointed the Hearst Digital Media Professional-in-Residence for 2013–14 at Columbia Journalism School. He has continued to consult with new and ongoing clients while at Columbia.
Mario has written 11 books on design and storytelling, including three editions of his textbook, Contemporary Newspaper Design. His first digital book, iPad Design Lab: Storytelling in the Age of the Tablet, is available from the iBookstore for iPad, as well as on Amazon Kindle and Google Books.
Mario tells everyone that he is, first and foremost, a teacher. Mario started his teaching career as a journalism professor and publications adviser at his alma mater, Miami-Dade Community College. From there he became a professor of graphic arts at Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications (1976–1985), and the University of South Florida (1985–1991). In addition, he has been a Distinguished Professor at the University of Navarra, Spain, as well as a lecturer at universities in 25 countries throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Mario founded the Graphics & Design program at The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, where he is still a faculty affiliate. In 2012, he was part of the key research team for EyeTrack: Tablet, which studied how tablet users read and interact with news. He and the García Media team are currently involved in a redesign of Poynter.org.
Recently, Mario has been involved with Stibo Accelerator and Aarhus University in research on how news is consumed on smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch.
Mario has also been an American Press Institute presenter at over 200 seminars, as well as an organizer and moderator for dozens of seminars at IFRA (Germany) and IAPA (Latin America) and the WAN/IFRA organization, with which he continues to participate actively as a presenter and panel moderator. Mario has received over 300 SND Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award. People Magazine en Español selected Mario as among the 100 Most Influential Hispanics. He is a 2011 recipient of the University of Missouri School of Journalism‘s Medal of Honor for Distinguished Service in Journalism. In 2015, Mario received the Columbia Scholastic Press Association's Charles O'Malley Excellence in Teaching Award.
Mario often states, “These are truly the best of times to be a storyteller—we can tell stories across platforms, emphasizing the uniqueness of each.”