ROBERT FISK

Files under General | Jul 31st

I am in Barcelona and I am reading in La Vanguardia the translated original dispatches of Robert Fisk at The Independent.

Perhaps not an independent reporter but at least a voice that is worth to read.

La Vanguardia keeps at the same time a very large network of foreign correspondents and it is one of the most international newspapers in Europe.

This quality and effort pays off, and La Vanguardia is the leading paper in Catalonia,

If you invest in quality news coverage, and unfortunately many newspapers they are not following this direction, your future is clear and solid.



FINDINGS: AN AMAZING BOOK

Files under General | Jul 27th


I bought yesterday “>An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore, and I could not stop until I read it.

It was very easy and enjoyable to read.

If one day I have to publish a book, I want that looks like this one.

It is one of the most well design books ever done.

Simple, clear, attractive, direct.

You can agree or desagree with Al Gore (and many of his own paqes in this book are quite boring) but nobody will dispute that the Rodale team has produced a very compelling product under the design direction of Charlie Melcher and his mgmt.design firm.

Newspapers need to realize that this is the kind of design for the new generations of readers.

The mix of words and images, ideas and presentation makes this book a piece of art, yes, but also a very powerful tool to present a very important issue: the global warming.



WASTED MONEY FOR “INTREPID” RESEARCH

Files under General | Jul 26th

OK, here they come to The Times of London with great findings:

“You cannot compete with broadcast media, either online or offline, your customers define you by comment and analysis, not breaking news.”

A well known fact that research commissioned by Christine Ernst, the head of digital planning at News International, confirmed.

The study said that internet cannot compete with TV or radio for informing people about breaking news, readers of the London Times believe.

The belief came to light in reader research compiled by Intrepid, the consulting group that works for Microsoft and Welsh Water, about what readers of the Times newspaper think about the web.

Do newspapers need to expend money to find out obvious things like that?



YOUNG READERS AND THE “GHETTO APPROACH”

Files under General | Jul 25th

First, today´s good news from the Newspaper Association of America (NAA):

“New research for the Newspaper Association of America Foundation finds that newspaper content for teens, by teens and relating to teens strongly impacts a newspaper’s ability to attract young adult readers and keep them as they age.

According to the study of more than 1,600 18- to 24-year-olds, 75 percent of respondents who said they read newspaper content aimed at teens when they were 13 to 17 years old now read their local paper at least once a week, compared with 44 percent of those who said they did not read teen content.”

Well, one year ago, and with the support of the World Association of Newspapers (WAN), INNOVATION did an international survey of editorial strategies to capture and cautivate young readers and ourconclusionss were quite different.

What we said was this:

“Newspapers will not succeedd in attracting young readers for their papers only with special sections, supplements, cleverly segmented websites or simply multimedia projects.

It´s a fact that millions of dollars have been spent on these projects over the past few years and very little is working with demonstrable long-term success.”

The “ghetto-approach” will not work.

Perhaps we were wrong but we have not changed our minds.

Also today, People announced the end of TeenPeople, a magazine that was published to promote young readers for the adult publication.

It did not work.

And the same happened a few months ago with ElleGirl magazine.

It is good to be optimistic about the future of our industry (and we are) but perhaps is better to be realistic.



THE NEW YORK TIMES NEW BUILDING TOPS OUT

Files under General | Jul 25th

The New York Times building “topped out” on July 12 in a traditional ceremony on 41st St. near 8th Ave.

The symbolic top beam – white with fireproof paint, signed by all attendees and decorated with flags and the traditional tree – was hoisted to the top of the building at around 10:30a.m. local time.

You can see now in detail the new building of The New York Times in this multimedia presentation by the developers.

Or you can follow the beginning of the construction at “Building The Times” with photographs by Annie Leibovitz.



NEW WAYS TO REPORT

Files under General | Jul 25th

Craig Newmark announced that he’ll donate $10,000 to NewAssignment’s first test run.

The idea of Jay Rosen with NewsAssignement.net is to create an institution online where people can contribute dollars to fund reporting projects they’re interested in.

Jeff Jarvis says today:

“I think this is an important experiment in pro-am, publicly supported, open journalism.

We must explore new business models to support coverage of news and this is one of them.

I’m an enthusiastic supporter of NewAssignment.”



SCOOPS AT THE NEW YORK TIMES

Files under General | Jul 25th

Gerald Marzorati, assistant managing editor at The New York Times and editor of The Times Magazine explains the new way of life for the scoops in his paper:

“As the Times is now a multi-platform news-and-information source, we might take a story we are about to publish and figure out ways to spin in out in other platforms of the paper (and non-paper).

This is what we did a couple of weeks ago with a story we had on the cycler Floyd Landis.

We had the scoop that his hip was in bad shape and that he would seek a replacement once he completed the Tour de France (and man did he complete it!).

We closed the story on Friday, July 7, for our issue of Sunday, July 16. (The lag time is due to printing and shipping.) In order to get the scoop out there quickly, we posted our story on the Web site right after midnight on Monday, July 10, having tipped off our sports section, so it could be ready with a story for the print paper that morning.

Overlap, yes, but also a Times scoop, a digital read, and a full magazine piece in print – take your choice.”



TELEVSION WARS: IRAK IS BORING

Files under General | Jul 25th

CNN shows how well is covering from everywhere the war in the Middle East. The question is: how many CNN reporters are now covering the war in Iraq?

Howard Kurtz, the media critic of The Washington Post gets this comment from a reader:

“The Israel/Lebanon conflict has taken priority with the media over a war that the United States is actually involved with.

Isn’t it the American media’s job to focus on a conflict that actually involves American lives rather than a conflict between foreign countries?

Clearly the media is not doing its job or it is just doing the job that the Bush Administration wants it to do.

Anything but Iraq seems to be the mantra of the administration and the media it controls.”

And Kurtz is not happy with the TV coverage:

“The 13-day battle between Israel and both Hamas and Hezbollah may be the most up-close-and-personal ever transmitted by television.

Unlike Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, where conditions were either too dangerous or tightly controlled by the U.S. military, the Mideast conflict of 2006 allows journalists to roam freely, not just watching rocket attacks but interviewing victims’ families, neighbors, refugees and just about anyone else. It is Vietnam on satellite steroids.

But the very technology that enables reporters to show footage of a Lebanese father soon after his young son has been killed by a bomb blast carries not just an emotional punch but the power to distort the overall picture.”



THE LATEST BOOK OF STEPHEN QUINN: MEDIA CONVERGENCE IS HERE TO STAY

Files under General | Jul 24th

One of our consultants, Stephen Quinn (Australia), is the best world expert on media convergence and in his new book includes 15 interviews with what he calls “insiders”.

Well, It seems than I am one of them, but at least the book deserves consideration for what the others say.



ONE HOUR WITH RUPERT MURDOCH

Files under General | Jul 24th

You must watch the fascinating interview of Charlie Rose (PBS) with News Corporation chief, Rupert Murdoch.

A great TV performance available at Google Video.

Candid comments from a media mogul that does not want to retire when is company is heading to profit from a “new golden era” of “content, content, content”.

Loves newspapers but enjoys the “myspace” success.

He looks back at shutting out the printers from his Wapping printing plant as a high point of his career.

He said that the family battle over the division of spoils upon his death has been settled amicably between the six children of his three marriages.

“They will all be treated the same financially.” Does he intend to retire? “No. Unless someone taps me on the shoulder and says I’m losing it and I have to make way.”