Files under General | Sep 29th

“Video is the future for Telegraph photographers” says Stuart Nicol, the newly appointed London’s Daily Telegraph Executive Editor (Pictures).

He tells to EPUK that the future of the Telegraph’s photojournalism lies in shooting video.

“Digital stills photography will, when we look back on it, form a very small period of time in the history of photojournalism.”

“Telegraph photographers will undoubtably be shooting solely on video in the future, and certainly within a year we hope to be well advanced down that route.”

At the Press Association, where Stuart Nicol has been Group Picture Editor since January this year, all of their 42 staff photographers are now equipped with £300 Canon S3 cameras for shooting internet-quality video in addition to their existing Canon stills cameras.


Files under General | Sep 29th

Newspaper designers are screaming against what they consider an “advertising invasion” into the newshole.

Well, as I said before, I don’t have any problem with “premium space” for “premium ads”, including front pages.

The question is, as always, real creativity.

In newsdesigner you will find a link to a PSD from the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), presenting some of this “new” ad formats.

But you will see a few good ones and a lot of bad ones.

Advertising creativity in print media is, I am sorry, still very, very poor.

Giving more freedom to bad ads will be a serious problem for newspapers that don’t care about clean and easy to read design.

Here there are three excellent examples of good, bad and really bad ones:

1. The classifieds page is fine with me.

2. The Hiundai ad looks great but the double spread is a disaster. Wrong option again.

3. The Nashville Symphony ad makes the reading of he California piece very painful and the ad format does not make sense to me at all.


Files under General | Sep 28th

The newspaper killing season is open.

The Economist cover story wanted to kill the newspaper.

Steve Outing wants now to kill newspaper print editors, and substitute them by former online editors.

And Jeff Jarvis announces “the death of the editorialists.”

“As newspapers face economic torture, it is time to ask whether they can afford editorialists when spare resources should go toward supporting their true value: local reporting.”

Well, I am not sure that all these deaths will change and improve newspapers.

Newspapers are not dead, but they will kill themselves when they don’t see the need of radical re-evolutions.

Newspaper print editors are not dead, but we will kill themselves when they don’t see the need on bi-media, on and off line integrated newsrooms.

Newspaper editorialists are not dead, but they will kill themselves when they don’t lead interactive opinion pages and public discussion forums.

My impression is that everybody has to re-think its role in this new media landscape.

From publishers and editors to reporters and visual journalists.

Let’s not kill anything or anybody else.

We don’t need more casualties.

Nobody is safe, sure, but at the same time the best way to survive is not a war but a passionate, engaging and compelling new way of journalism life.

This is an industry with too many years of confrontations.

Editors versus Publishers.

News versus Features.

Hard News versus Soft News.

On Line versus Off Line Journalism.

Words versus Images.

Pictures versus Graphics.

News versus Opinion.

Advertising versus News.

Mono-Media versus Multi-Media Companies.

Editors versus Reporters.

Print versus Broadcasting.

Infographists versus Illustrators…

Let’s work together.

Let’s integrate.

Newspapering is a team game.

We need less solo-players, and more orchestra-players.

Including the conductor-editors.


Files under General | Sep 28th

A few weeks ago we posted two comments about the terrible design of The New York Times Book Review, and now, oh my God!, we can announce that our voice has been heard.


Steven Heller is out, Nicholas Blechman is in.

Heller, an excellent writer about design, but a terrible newspaper design editor, goes out for a 6 month sabbatical…

And next week, Nicholas Blechman, one of the most brilliant designers of The New York Times (working now in the Sunday section The Week in Review, that has improved a lot under his tenure) is taking over.

The readers of The New York Times are the winners.

What a great opportunity to change the Book Review!

My 10 first suggestions:

1. Tell me about the books, but also about the authors and the publishers.

2. Include more and more comments from readers (compare with Amazon reviews), authors and book publishers.

3. Add references and suggestions about similar books and similar issues.

4. Develop great cover-stories like:

“Is still New York the capital of the book publishing world?

“The next Da Vinci Code: The leading best candidates”

“The print book is dead. God save the printing book industry!”

“Why young people read more books and less newspapers than ever”

“Who is going to be the next Harry Potter according J. K. Rowling”

5. Compare best-selling lists, and explain the differences.

6. Publish the biggest flops, and tell us why these books fail.

7. Interview the world best on and off line book reviewers.

8. Expand the reviews to digital books, and to the new digital publishing industry.

9. Link, link, link to blogs, websites, chats, forums… and interact with your audience on and off line.

10. Improve the design dramatically, and after his 6 month sabbatical, fire Seteven Heller.



Files under General | Sep 27th

A team of INNOVATION consultants spoke in the last two days at the 2006 Expo Publishing Expo and Conference in Moscow.

Russian publishers and editors are changing.

A few headlines from our presentations:

-Javier Zarracina, Spain (infographics consultant):

“Newspapers need journalists, not artists.”

“Infographists must be just visual journalists.”

-Christian Oliver, USA (new media consultant):

“Traditional media must integrate on and off line news and commercial operations.”

“Your audience is now a multi-media consumer, and you must reach them by any way available. Our newsrooms are becoming organizations in continuous deadline.”

-Javier Errea, Spain (design consultant):

“Readers demand new ways to present the news.”

“The graphic-information pannels that we created for EXPRESSO in Portugal shows how you can innovate and improve your story-telling languages.”

-Gianluca Bovoli, Italy (editorial marketing consultant):

“Don’t promote your newspaper or magazine without improving your editorial product. Many promotions don’t work just because they are promoting the wrong product. Change the product first, and then invest on promotions.”

“Games are back. See the great success of LIBERO in Italy with the political game LiberoTutti.”

-Juan Antonio Giner, USA (INNOVATION director):

“The newspaper industry is booming.”

“You kill a newspaper when you don’t change, and don’t innovate.”

“Multimedia newsrooms are a must. The question is not yes or not, but how.”

“The Daily Telegraph is right now a good example of how a very traditional newspaper company has to change and innovate.”


Files under General | Sep 27th

Bono was a good editor for The Independent.

The paper sold almost 700.000 copies.

Last week, Armani did the same as editor of the paper.

This was his cover.

I am sure that the sales will be also bigger than normal.

My questions are:

Do we need celebrities to improve the sales of newspapers?

What if we replace current editors not justy one day but a full week?

What if we do the same replacing newspaper designers with the iPod or Nokia designers?

What if we replace our newspaper photo editors with magazine ones?

What if we rotate the editors position and every week the editor is a different reporter?

What if we try with the marketing director?

What if we offer the position to the advertising director?

Perhaps wer will discover better ideas, we will find better leaders, and we will sell more papers.


Files under General | Sep 26th

I am in Moscow for the new two days speaking at the 2006 Russian Publishing Conference and Expo organized by the Russian Newspaper Publishers Association (GIPP).

Timothy Balding , the first speaker, CEO of the World association of Newspaper (WAN) told the audience that Russia will become the fastest growing newspaper market of the world.

Some interesting data from his presentation:

-Newspapers are now a 180 billion USD global industry, reaching daily more than 1,2 billion readers.

-Rupter Murdoch is investing almost 1 billion USD in the new printing presses for his newspapers in the UK.

-The Courier and Mail in Australia is becoming the most successful case of the new “compact” newspapers with a 158% circulation growth.

-Free newspapers are now the circulation leaders right now in Denmark, Switzerland and Spain.

-Free papers capture in Demark 64% of the total circulation of the newspaper market, and 54% in Spain.

Timothy Balding said also that free newspapers are “inspiration for traditional newspapers.”


Files under General | Sep 26th

Pages from the new EL UNIVERSAL, the leading quality paper of Venezuela, relaunched last Sunday in a new compact formula redesigned by a team of INNOVATION consultants lead by Carlos Soria, Marta Botero, Guillermo Nagore, Daniel Lozano, Felipe Lamus, Juan Antonio Giner and Michael Fairhead.

The newspaper of Caracas is now working with Milenium, a state of the art new multimedia editorial system from PROTEC.

EL UNIVERSAL produces a new classifieds section in tabloid format that was designed by CRD.

PROTEC and CRD are international partners of INNOVATION.


Files under General | Sep 25th

Last week, The New York Times introduced subtle changes in order to differentiate news and opinions.

I didn’t see too much coverage about this change, but in my opinion these are major steps that deserve a lot of attention.

Quality news-papers are becoming more and more “views-papers” and this is how The New York Times explained the new and old formats:

In its daily news pages, The Times presents both straightforward news coverage and other journalistic forms that provide additional perspective on events. These special forms — news analysis articles, columns and others — adhere to standards different from those of the editorial and Op-Ed pages. The news and editorial departments do not coordinate coverage and maintain a strict separation in staff and management.

All articles, columns, editorials and contributions in the newspaper are subject to the same requirements of factual accuracy.

This is the descriptions of the various forms:


* Man or Woman in the News: A portrait of a central figure in a news situation. It is not primarily analytical, but highlights aspects of the subject’s background and career that shed light on that figure’s role in the current event.

* Reporter’s Notebook: A writer’s collection of several anecdotes or brief reports, often supplementing coverage of a major news event like a summit meeting or an important trial. The items provide glimpses behind the scenes that flesh out the reader’s sense of a major story.

* Memo: A reflective article, often with an informal or conversational tone, offering a look behind the scenes at issues or political developments. The article (with a title like Political Memo, White House Memo or Memo From London) may draw connections among several events, or tell the reader who or what shaped them.

* Journal: A sharply drawn feature article focusing on a place or event (and labeled with the place name, whether foreign, national or regional). A Journal article is closely observed and stylishly written, often light or humorous in tone. It is intended to give the reader a vivid sense of a place and time.

* News Analysis: A close examination of the ramifications of an important news situation. It includes thorough reporting, but also draws heavily on the expertise of the writer. The article helps the reader understand underlying causes or possible consequences of a news event, but does not reflect the writer’s personal opinion.

* Appraisal: A broad evaluation, generally by a critic or a specialized writer, of the career and work of a major figure who has died. The article often accompanies the obituary.

* Review: A specialized critic’s appraisal of works of creativity — movies, books, restaurants, fashion collections. Unlike other feature writers, critics are expected to render opinions in their areas of expertise.

* News-Page Column: A writer’s regularly scheduled essay, offering original insight and perspective on the news. The column often has a distinctive point of view and makes a case for it with reporting. (Columns in the newspaper are displayed with the writer’s name and the column’s title inset into the text.)

The news sections also present a number of regular feature articles that carry labels indicating the topics – for example, the Saturday Profile in the foreign pages and Market Place in Business Day.


* Editorial:A sharply written, generally brief article about any issue of public interest. Editorials are written by the editorial board of The Times, which includes the editorial page editor, the deputy and assistant editors, and a group of writers with expertise in a variety of fields. While the writers’ opinions are of great importance, the editorials also reflect the longtime core beliefs of the page. Unlike the editors of the news sections, the editorial page editor not only reports to the publisher, but consults with him on the page’s positions. Editorials are based on reporting, often original and in-depth, but they are not intended to give a balanced look at both sides of a debate. Rather, they offer clear opinion and distinct positions.

* Editorial Observer: A signed article by a member of the editorial board. These articles have a more distinct personal voice than an editorial. They often reflect personal experiences or observations, and may be written in the first person. These articles are not intended to be policy pronouncements, but do not contradict the board’s positions.

* Op-Ed Column: An essay by a columnist on the staff of The Times, reflecting the opinions of the writer on any topic. Columnists are expected to do original reporting. Some travel extensively. Op-Ed columns are edited only for style and usage, not for content. Columnists do not submit their topics for approval, and are free to agree or disagree with editorial positions.

* Op-Ed Contribution: An article by a person not on the staff of The Times, reflecting opinions about a topic on which the author is an expert or has provocative and well-reasoned ideas. These articles, most of which are solicited by the editors, are not intended to reflect the positions of the editorial board. Indeed, the Op-Ed page is seen as a forum to air diverse and challenging viewpoints.


Files under General | Sep 25th

Yesterday, EL UNIVERSAL (Caracas, Venezuela) with the help of INNOVATION, launched its new graphic and editorial formula.

The 300.000 copies of the new EL UNIVERSAL were sold out in a few hours.

The new editorial concept, designed by Marta Botero, a director of INNOVATION, includes new sections, more local, local, local coverage, in a more compelling and compact paper.

The graphic redesign was done by Guillermo Nagore, an INNOVATION consultant based in New York.

A new classifieds section in tabloid format produced by CRD, partner of INNOVATION, makes this traditional feature of EL UNIVERSAL, even more appealing to the market.

The leading quality newspaper of Venezuela follows a world trend of dramatic innovations and changes that includes the total “re-thinking” of these papers.

EL UNIVERSAL is another example of how “only the leaders change, and change because they are and want to be leaders.”