A BRILLIANT GRAPHIC

Files under General | Jun 29th

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The gatroinstestinal system represented as a subway map.

Woot Shirt sells this t-shirt, designed by Jack Anderson.

(Thanks to Mario Tascon)



WHO IS KILLING OUR NEWSPAPERS?: THEY ARE

Files under General | Jun 29th

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I took this picture in Venice, Italy, last Saturday before 3 pm.

This is something that I have seen in many Italian cities before.

The newsstands pack the unsold paper of the day…

So, if you want to get an Italian paper after 3 pm, good luck!

Well, this is a perfect example of who is killing our newspapers.

They are.



FETISHIZING NEW MEDIA

Files under General | Jun 27th

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Read Jack Shafer’s post about “Blog Overkill. The danger of hyping a good thing into the ground.”

Shafer comments on the danger of fetishizing new technologies makes a lot of sense to me.

It dosen’t matter that he gets almost toasted, insulted and blamed as one who, of course, “doesn’t get it” by the usual suspects.

I really had a great pleasure reading his commonsense piece (thanks Toni) since the “big news” about the death of Michael Jackson was, you know, that a blogger scooped the traditional media.

Oh, boy!

And so, what?

What we need is analysis, explanation, ideas, journalism, information caviar, and not just tapas and speedy breaking news.

Good to know, and congratulations to the speedy blogger, but now let’s talk about the real subject.

The human tragedy of Michael Jackson, who - I am sorry, but I cannot find better way than to repeat the dramatic words of Andrew Sullivan - “HE DIED A WHILE AGO” and “HE REMAINED FOR SO LONG A WALKING HUMAN SHELL”

This what I am looking for:

Brilliant writers.

Smart journalists.

Journalism caviar.

In print.

Online.

On air.

All the time.

Full-time.

And the rest, darling, is “garbage in, garbage out.”



MICHAEL JACKSON AND THE FRONT PAGES OF THE PAST, NOT THE FUTURE

Files under General | Jun 27th

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The death of MJ is another dramatic example of what I call empty front pages.

Many were just clonic journalism.

The same everywhere.

With no ”added-value” opinion or information for boring and expected headlines.

What would I do?

Well, if I had writers like Andrew Sullivan at my paper, I would just print his opinionated and insightful comment in big type on the front page, plus his best words as the headline:

“HE DIED A WHILE AGO. HE REMAINED FOR SO LONG A WALKING HUMAN SHELL”

Or I would go for the one at the top of this post from Estado de Minas in Brazil, which at least shows a point of view (“Why he didn’t die”)

But first let’s see the “empty” ones, driven just by design considerations but with no post-news added value.

And then the pathetic clonic, no-brain, no-nothing ones:il_re1va_vp1pr_ndbrarj_ex
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INVESTING IN THE FUTURE: NEW PRINTING PRESSES IN RBS, BRAZIL

Files under General | Jun 27th

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Good news from RBS, one of the most innovative multimedia companies of Latin America:

The group opened yesterday a new printing plant in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

The new building includes very modern Wifag presses.

In the picture you can see Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at the inauguration ceremony, with my friends Nelson Pachecho Sirotsky, President of the company, and Jayme Sirotsky, Emeritus President of RBS.

RBS invested US $35 million in the industrial complex, located near Salgado Filho International Airport.

The objective is to improve and enlarge the printing and distribution of Zero Hora and Diário Gaúcho newspapers.

This investment reinforces the company’s belief in the future of print journalism, including its internet media extensions.

Today Zero Hora reaches an average of 183,000 copies – a growth of 345% since the founding of the newspaper, 45 years ago, and it’s the largest quality tabloid of Brazil.

The park takes the name of Jayme Sirotsky, the former President of the World Association of Newspapers (WAN).

The new facilities cover the equivalent of 15 basketball courts.

The Operational Director of RBS Group newspapers, Christiano Nygaard, said that the venture was motivated to better attend readers and advertisers.

The new Wifag prints up to 75,000 copies per hour – or 20.8 per second.

The expedition system Ferag will automatize supplement bookbinding.

The building has a “green roof” that softens the temperature inside, saving energy.

Domes of acrylic (transparent ice on the roof) amplify the natural lighting of the structure.

Another innovation is the storage of rainwater for use in anti-fire brigade.

RBS uses only paper provided by companies which offer forestation certification and vegetable-based ink, less polluting than the product of mineral origin.

As INNOVATION says, these could be the latest printing presses that RBS buys, and this also explains how fast this Brazilian company is changing the management structure of its multimedia operations.

Investing now in better quality printing is just another way to make the transition to the digital multimedia future.

I never understand how you can migrate to these new media scenarios when your printing products look poorly printed, with little and bad color, and a lousy distribution system.

First things first.



MICHAEL JACKSON: “HE DIED A WHILE AGO. HE REMAINED FOR SO LONG A WALKING HUMAN SHELL”

Files under General | Jun 26th

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The best sketch about the King comes from Andrew Sullivan:

“There are two things to say about him.

He was a musical genius; and he was an abused child.

By abuse, I do not mean sexual abuse; I mean he was used brutally and callously for money, and clearly imprisoned by a tyrannical father.

He had no real childhood and spent much of his later life struggling to get one.

He was spiritually and psychologically raped at a very early age – and never recovered.

Watching him change his race, his age, and almost his gender, you saw a tortured soul seeking what the rest of us take for granted: a normal life.

But he had no compass to find one; no real friends to support and advise him; and money and fame imprisoned him in the delusions of narcissism and self-indulgence.

Of course, he bears responsibility for his bizarre life.

But the damage done to him by his own family and then by all those motivated more by money and power than by faith and love was irreparable in the end.

He died a while ago.

He remained for so long a walking human shell.

I loved his music.

His young voice was almost a miracle, his poise in retrospect eery, his joy, tempered by pain, often unbearably uplifting.

He made the greatest music video of all time; and he made some of the greatest records of all time. He was everything our culture worships; and yet he was obviously desperately unhappy, tortured, afraid and alone.

I grieve for him; but I also grieve for the culture that created and destroyed him.

That culture is ours’ and it is a lethal and brutal one: with fame and celebrity as its core values, with money as its sole motive, it chewed this child up and spat him out.

I hope he has the peace now he never had in his life.

And I pray that such genius will not be so abused again.”

Oh, boy: He died a while ago. He remained for so long a walking human shell.

You cannot say more in fewer words.



ELEFTHEROS TYPOS, THE REAL STORY

Files under General | Jun 26th

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I got a lot of sad and warm messages about the tragic death of Eleftheros Typos, and I read angry comments in many Greek blogs about the end of this paper.

The best explanation of the crisis is in the blog of Spiros Polikandriotis. The fantastic former art director of ET was fired a few months ago - what a shame! - after months of fighting to keep and protect the original editorial and graphic concept of the INNOVATION prototypes:

“ET before the relaunch was selling around 10.000-15.000 a day and 45.000 on Sunday.

It was it’s lowest numbers since its birth on 1984.

After the  (INNOVATION) relaunch it started rising in circulation reaching 25.000 – 35.000 on the daily and 120.000 on Sunday.

These numbers were steady for at least 3-4 months.

After that the editorial model changed back to the old ways.”

The rest is history.

Thanks Spiros, and good luck to you and all your colleagues who produced the best-designed Greek newspaper ever, and fought a long, terrible battle for a new editorial model that was destroyed by political advisers and old fashioned editors and reporters - all with no jobs now.

What a lesson for all of them!



IRAN, A PACIFIC REVOLUTION?

Files under General | Jun 22nd

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Wise political words from John F. Kennedy:

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable”

Obama remains almost silent.

What a mistake!

UPDATE: Finally, he used yesterday the first strong words:

“No iron fist is strong enough to shut off the world from bearing witness to peaceful protests of justice.”

“Those who stand up for justice are always on the right side of history.”



APPLE IPHONE AND THE IRRATIONAL MARKET

Files under General | Jun 22nd

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Forbes reports with the same irrational logic of the market!

Apple’s ( AAPL – news – people ) new iPhone 3G S is selling like hotcakes. Since Friday, consumers snapped up over a million units of the new model, which are being sold in the U.S. and seven other countries.

Shares were down over 1%.

We need better financial journalism, that’s for sure.



“THE EARL BLOG” IS HERE TO STAY

Files under General | Jun 22nd

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Earl Wilkinson is the Executive Director and CEO of the International News Marketing Association (INMA), a respected friend who travels more than Mario Garcia or Hillary Clinton, and has a tremendous sense of what’s going on in the newspaper industry.

His worldwide experience and common sense makes his revamped blog a “must read” one.

Like his latest post about Schibsted’s culture.