MORE INNOVATION PROJECTS: THE NEW EL HERALDO (1)

Files under General | Aug 31st

EL HERALDO (Barranquilla, Colombia) is one the newspapers that published the first journalistic work of Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

A 75-year-old newspaper that preserves a great tradition of first-class regional journalism.

EL HERALDO is a family-owned, quality broadsheet newspaper that tomorrow will launch its new editorial and graphic concept.

INNOVATION’s work started here in 2007 with Carlos Soria, Eduardo Tessler, Marta Botero, Javier Errea, Chiqui Esteban, Pablo Errea and me.

I have been to Barranquilla many times.

The former editor, Juan B. Fernández, is now retired, but is still full of energy and is an old friend.

He is the one who invited us to visit Barranquilla for the first time.

When we started this project, Juan invited me to the Country Club in Barranquilla and he said:

“I am not the editor anymore and I don’t play any active role on the board of directors of the company, but let me tell you one thing, Juan Antonio: don’t be afraid to make all the needed changes. I am sure that you will improve the paper, and you and your team will always have my full support.”

Well, he did it.

Him and all the owners.

So, this change is another dramatic example of how only leaders change, and they do it because they are the leaders and they want to be leaders in the future.

Colombia has excellent regional newspapers such as El Pais in Cali, El Colombiano in Medellín, Vanguardia Liberal in Bucaramanga, El Universal in Cartagena, La Patria in Manizales and El Meridiano de Cordoba in Monteria.

But, having done work with all the above newspapers, my Colombian friends will agree with me that none of them has experienced the big changes that EL HERALDO is going to start tomorrow.

Today, Javier Errea explains on page 2 the intensity and scope of these changes.

Tomorrow you will see the new EL HERALDO here.

I hope that you and, more importantly, all the readers and advertisers of EL HERALDO, will like it.



A REPUBLICAN CONVENTION WITHOUT BUSH?

Files under General | Aug 31st

Perhaps …

The AP reports this morning at 8:45 a.m.:

President Bush is unlikely to attend the Republican convention in Minnesota as scheduled Monday because of concerns about Hurricane Gustav, the White House said today.

The White House was likely to confirm Bush’s plans later Sunday. Those could mean possible travel to the Gulf Coast and perhaps speaking to the GOP convention by video.

Vice President Dick Cheney still planned to speak at the convention on Monday, his office said Sunday. First lady Laura Bush was scheduled to give her address Monday.

See the official Republican Convention site here.



THE NEW ORLEANS MESS

Files under General | Aug 31st

It’s going to be nasty.

It’s going to be tragic again.

Many people don’t have cars to leave.

Many people cannot afford to pay for the gas.

Many people will not be able to pay for a hotel.

The Times-Picayune, the local paper in New Orleans, owned by Newhouse, is reporting minute-by-minute with pictures like this one by Brett Duke. It shows Ormond Nursing and Care Center resident Clyde Posey being loaded onto a bus as his daughter Claire Brauninger watches residents of the center being evacuated in Destrehan.



HURRICAN GUSTAV: THE LATEST NEWS FROM BLOGS AROUND THE GULF

Files under General | Aug 30th

Authorities evacuated at least 250,000 people from western Cuba, including Isla de la Juventud.

Gustav already has killed 81 people by triggering floods and landslides in other Caribbean nations.

According to the United States Minerals Management, 76.8 percent of the Gulf’s crude oil production and 37 percent of its natural gas production were closed.

New Orleans officials say 3,000 residents have voluntarily been evacuated on buses and another 17,000 are waiting to be transported out.

Thousands of other people are fleeing by car, clogging roadways headed out of the city.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, killing hundreds of people and causing more than $100 billion in damage.

Follow Gustav with this radar from Tornado Videos Net.

News updates here in the Gustav Information Center, a collective assembly of Gustav Information.

Using the Ning platform, the site aggregates content from a variety of social media resources, including Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, Utterz, Technorati and others. All you have to do is tag the item gustav.

(AP Photo/Brian Lawdermilk)



S.O.S.: GUSTAV HEADS TO NEW ORLEANS AND A BLOGGER TELLS THE STORY

Files under General | Aug 30th

By early Saturday afternoon, Hurricane Gustav strengthened into a Category 4 storm, packing winds near 145 mph.

Katrina had a footprint of about 400 miles.

Gustav is about 900 miles and growing.

The hurricane is now in Cuba.

The current forecast takes the eye of Gustav into the coast of Louisiana, west of the Mississippi Delta, late Monday or early Tuesday.

Shell and BP are working toward a full evacuation of assets in the Gulf by this afternoon.

President Bush declared a state of emergency in Louisiana and Texas, empowering federal authorities to lead disaster relief efforts in the two states.

Helen Kennedy blogs for the Daily News from New Orleans.

A fascinating chronicle of Gustav, a hurricane that could be a second, and worse, Katrina.

Police with bullhorns plan to go street to street this weekend with a tough message about getting out ahead of Hurricane Gustav: This time there will be no shelter of last resort.

The doors to the Superdome will be locked.

Those who stay will be on their own.

One of the most popular local radio stations, WWOZ, announced at 2:38 p.m. that they will be off the air starting at midnight Friday, Aug. 29, since the French Market Building where the studio is located has been shut down in preparation for Hurricane Gustav. They will keep the music going by streaming archived shows.

John MacCain campaign aides said today that they are considering all options, including compressing the Republican convention schedule and possibly holding some sort of relief telethon.



PALIN, THE OUTSIDER

Files under General | Aug 30th

Sarah Palin, 44, is the first woman on a GOP ticket.

She got what Hillary Clinton couldn’t get from Obama.

She is the outsider.

The dark horse.

A journalist!

A choice to please the Republicans who still don’t like McCain.

As Andrew Sullivan says:

“Palin has helped McCain among Republicans, left Democrats unfazed, but moved the undecideds against him quite sharply.”

Less than two weeks ago, she explained her political journey to TIME magazine as follows:

I studied journalism in college and always had an interest in the newsroom, which was of course so often focused on politics and government. I studied sports reporting, and that’s how I started off in journalism. But even earlier than that, my dad was an elementary school teacher, so often our dinner-table conversations were about current events and about those things that an elementary school teacher teaches students — much about government and much about our nation, and so I had ingrained in me an interest in our government, how things worked. And then from there I just became more interested in more practical steps that I could take… [I] started off running for city council when I was very young in the town [Wasilla] where I had grown up and was elected to two terms on the city council. And then I realized to be really able to make a difference — not just being one of six of a body but to make a difference — I would have to run for the top dog position, and so I ran for mayor and was elected mayor for two terms. Then from there I was appointed an oil and gas commissioner in the state of Alaska, on the Alaska oil and gas conservation commission, had decided that there were changes, positive changes, that had to be ushered into our state government, decided to run for governor and did so, was successful, and here we are.

So, the big question is who is Sarah Palin?

How does a mother of five children who are still at home, one of whom is an infant born with Down syndrome, plan to manage the demands of a national candidacy or the White House?

Hillary Clinton said nice words about her:

“We should all be proud of Governor Sarah Palin’s historic nomination, and I congratulate her and Senator McCain.

“While their policies would take America in the wrong direction, Governor Palin will add an important new voice to the debate.”



OBAMA’S MAGIC NIGHT ON THE FRONT PAGES

Files under General | Aug 29th



OBAMA, THE ONLINE AND OFFLINE CANDIDATE

Files under General | Aug 29th

His Web site is everywhere.

If you are a fan of Barack Obama, you get no less than four e-mail messages daily from him, Michelle, Joe Biden or his staff.

In the last few days, I got at least twenty invitations from other Obama fans in my city to join “open house parties” to watch last night’s acceptance speech together.

There were more than 1,000 house parties across Virginia.

I was only asked to bring fruits or desserts.

And in today’s edition of The Virginian-Pilot, you can read a story about one of these parties for fans.

In the picture: supporters of Barack Obama gather at the home of Michael Zugelder in Norfolk to watch the senator’s acceptance speech Thursday night. (Stephen M. Katz | The Virginian-Pilot)

What about the Republican candidate?

Well, John McCain is 72 years old and is on 5 different medications, and he still doesn’t get it … he doesn’t “do” e-mail, and he doesn’t “do” the Internet.

You cannot be president of the United States today if you are not able to communicate offline and online.

And, yes, perhaps it’s too late for McCain.

Watch the full Obama speech on YouTube here.

(Picture by Larry Downing/Reuters)



ANOTHER STORM LOOKING FOR BUSH?

Files under General | Aug 28th

Oh no!

Time magazine reports:

Could the timing of Gustav be any worse?

President Bush is speaking Monday night at the Republican Convention.

According to the storm trackers, the tropical storm/hurricane is expected to hit the vicinity of New Orleans at 8 p.m.

Monday night, also known as the start of prime time.

See the 5-day forecast map here. Remarkable coincidence. And Obama held an outdoor rally with clear skies.



OBAMA’S BIGGEST AND BEST POLITICAL RALLY

Files under General | Aug 28th

Barack Obama waves to the crowd of 80,000 after ending his 46 minute speech at the Democratic National Convention. He accepted the nomination as candidate for President of the United States of America on a warm night in a football stadium converted into a political stage for television viewers.

Andrew Sullivan wrote the best instant analysis:

“This is a remarkable man at a vital moment.

America would be crazy to throw this opportunity away.

America must not throw this opportunity away.”

Read the full speech that ended with these words here:

“At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise, that American promise, and in the words of scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

(Photos: Todd Heisler/The New York Times and Charlie Neibergall/The Associated Press)