THE COPENHAGEN FIASCO: TOO MUCH HYPE, TOO LITTLE RESULTS

Files under General | Dec 19th

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You don’t need to read too much abut the UN Conference in Copenhagen.

Just listen to Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace:

“Not fair, not ambitious and not legally binding.

The job of world leaders is not done.

Today they failed to avert catastrophic climate change.

The city of Copenhagen is a climate crime scene tonight, with the guilty men and women fleeing to the airport in shame.

World leaders had a once in a generation chance to change the world for good, to avert catastrophic climate change.

In the end they produced a poor deal full of loopholes big enough to fly Air Force One through.

We have seen a year of crises, but today it is clear that the biggest one facing humanity is a leadership crisis.”

As The Guardian says today:

Low targets, goals dropped: Copenhagen ends in failure.

So don’t be fooled by the propaganda machine and PR spin of the big polluters.

Copenhagen was not “Hopenhagen” but, as Pedro Monteiro says in his great poster, “Nopenhagen.”

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LEO BOGART AND THE NEWSPAPERS OF 2084

Files under General | Dec 14th

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This is an  old Editor&Publisher column written by our loved Dr. Leo Bogart with 12 Predictions about Newspapers in 2084.

Before Leo was INNOVATION’s Director in New York, he was the executive director of the Newspaper Advertising Bureau (NAB) and past president of the American Public Opinion research Association (AAPOR).

Rick Edmonds must be credited for the discovery of this fantastic piece.

WOW!

Here there is:

Will newspapers still be published a century from now? My forecasts can be offered fearlessly, since no reader of these words can have any reason to dispute them until the next hundred years have passed. It takes no paranoid imagination to foresee a world devastated by nuclear catastrophe or by the consequences of environmental pollution, but such disturbing visions must be exorcised by anyone trying to plan for a manageable future.

There will be newspapers in 2084 but they will be quite different from those of today, in an age of vastly expanded communications resources. It is easy enough to project from existing trends to a society of far better educated people living longer, healthier, more rewarding lives. We can visualize a global economy becoming steadily more productive upon an ever-expanding base of new technology fueled by new sources of energy and stimulated by new adventures in space.

It is harder to foresee the changes in human values, aspirations, and behavior patterns than those in the material aspects of life. The division of labor between the sexes will be progressively less distinct; the ranks of the disadvantaged will be diminished as minorities find their way into the mainstream. With a growing population of vigorous older people, the definitions of work and leisure will be blurred.

The relationship between home and the workplace will be different, as home communications systems allow more personal business, shopping, and work activity to take place at home. All this will change the balance of cities and suburbs, and thus the physical appearance of the country itself.

Daily life will be very different when everyone can fly through the air with the greatest of ease and the wristwatch picturephone is a commonplace. Developments like these, and others now unimaginable, will change the public’s preoccupations and interests, change the content of the news, change people’s loyalties and identifications, and thus change the constituencies for news media.

The functions of all existing media will be transformed by the development of artificial intelligence, of two-way interactive linkages, and of ready access to vast amounts of stored information and entertainment. Not only will individuals be able to get what they want when they want it, but advertisers will be readily able to identify the individuals or households at whom they want to aim their messages. So where will newspapers fit in?

1. Newspapers will still appear in a printed format, simply because there is no more efficient way of encompassing and packaging a treat mass of complex information for easy and speedy retrieval.

2. The substance on which newspapers are printed will not be based just on woodpulp, but on an amalgam of raw materials selected to minimize both expense and effects on the environment.

3. Newspaper organizations will be comprehensive providers, rather than publishers. They will generate not a single uniform product, but a variety of products available to users through different means. These will include test and pictures (still and motion) in a video format (with the option of a wall-screen or a lap-board) and with a facsimile in-home printer for those willing to pay the extra price and to bear the inconvenience of maintaining a paper-recycling machine under the bed.

4. Newspapers will market a high share of the input available to them. Editorial copy that is now discarded, as well as the entire morgue of prior information, will be routinely sold in electronic or printed form to the limited number of customers who have a use for it, and new additional data sources will be developed.

5. High quality color will be universally available. Electronic controls will provide perfect register and tones for papers printed at ultra-high speed.

6. Decentralized production will make possible the up-to-the-minute, round-the-clock newspaper. Papers will be printed in small plants at many locations, with both editorial matter and advertising continually fresh and updated throughout the day by telecommunication.

7. There will be a revival of newspaper competition. Readers will have their choice of a variety of national dailies appealing to different tastes and interests. The development of low-budget production facilities and pooled distribution systems will make it possible for small-circulation papers to compete at the community level as well. No clear distinction will remain among newspaper, magazine, and book publishers, broadcasters, filmmakers, and telecommunications companies, all of whom will compete directly, offering timely information in both electronic and printed form.

8. Distribution systems will be competitive and comprehensive, delivering non-daily publications, advertising, product samples, and packages through professional, full-time adult carrier forces making the rounds of their assigned territories a number of times each day.

9. Newspapers will include a high proportion of individually customized content. Detailed marketing and media information on individual households will be routinely available. Inkjet printing methods will make it possible to tailor each paper to the recipient’s characteristics and wishes, with optional charges for supplements to the basic package. Advertising will be highly targeted, with ad copy and art beamed to fit the profile of each reader household.

10. Newspapers will still be a mass medium, providing a common core package of the information that most people need to orient themselves to the society around them. This will include the news they could not possibly anticipate as well as the special details that express their own individuality.

11. Readers will pay a larger share of the newspaper’s income than they do now, and advertisers less. This seems inevitable as newspapers provide the reader with additional values and as advertising itself becomes more competitive and more selective. By the year 2084, the classification of advertising as national or local will be meaningless, and a high proportion of product marketing will be done on an international scale.

12. Newspaper content will be geared to a more sophisticated reader. A better educated, more widely traveled population will demand authoritative reporting and good writing. But they will still come to the newspaper with the same expectations that have attracted readers for some three hundred years past: to satisfy their curiosity about what’s new, to widen their horizons, to learn what’s useful, and to find an unexpected laugh or two along the way.

Of one thing we can be sure. Since their origins, newspapers have generated and spread ideas, stimulated controversy, sought the truth, and exposed inequity. A century from now, these tasks will be no less essential, and the need to do them with conviction, grace and style will be no less urgent.

(Thanks to Gabriel Sama)


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DER SPIEGEL ON SPOT WITH OBAMA’S WEST POINT SPEECH

Files under General | Dec 4th

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I agree 100 per cent with Der Spiegel’s Gabor Steingart.

The first (terrific) paragraphs:

“Never before has a speech by President Barack Obama felt as false as his Tuesday address announcing America’s new strategy for Afghanistan. It seemed like a campaign speech combined with Bush rhetoric — and left both dreamers and realists feeling distraught.

One can hardly blame the West Point leadership. The academy commanders did their best to ensure that Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama’s speech would be well-received.

Just minutes before the president took the stage inside Eisenhower Hall, the gathered cadets were asked to respond “enthusiastically” to the speech. But it didn’t help: The soldiers’ reception was cool.

One didn’t have to be a cadet on Tuesday to feel a bit of nausea upon hearing Obama’s speech. It was the least truthful address that he has ever held. He spoke of responsibility, but almost every sentence smelled of party tactics. He demanded sacrifice, but he was unable to say what it was for exactly.

An additional 30,000 US soldiers are to march into Afghanistan — and then they will march right back out again. America is going to war — and from there it will continue ahead to peace. It was the speech of a Nobel War Prize laureate.”

Gabor Steingart, 46, is the senior correspondent of Der Spiegel in Washington DC.


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WAN/IFRA CONGRESS: PRESENTATION OF THE 2009 INNOVATIONS IN NEWSPAPERS GLOBAL REPORT

Files under General | Dec 3rd

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The latest news from India:

The INNOVATION team presented a few minutes ago our last INNOVATIONS IN NEWSPAPERS Global Report at the World Newspaper Congress and World Editors Forum.

WAN’s Larry Kilmam reports

“It is time for us to listen to the wakeup call and not hit the snooze button,” said  Juan Senor during his lively, packed-house presentation, in the annual WAN/IFRA Congress and Forum presentation of innovations in newspapers.

He is not necessarily worried about the newspaper of the future, but more about newspapers today and especially journalism.

“We need to go from journalist to journanalyst.

We need to create new narratives, ways to give added value to readers who already know the news.

When Michael Jackson died, all newspapers had the “King of Pop is dead” splashed across their front pages 36 hours after he died.

The Daily Dish, however, presented this the next day: “Michael Jackson died 20 years ago.” They brought depth to a story that a newspaper should be able to do, to tell a different story.”

Senor said newspaper companies today are pondering these four choices: 1) get out of the business, 2) sell or be taken over, 3) cut costs at all costs “until the cash cow bleeds to death,” or 4) reinvent the business by focusing on profitable audiences.

“We think of paper as a premium medium; online and mobile as mass mediums,”
Senor said.

“In time, the business is going to flip. The question is at which point will you take the cash cow and turn it into a filet mignon?

We think this will eventually happen, but at the same time you cannot abandon your main medium.”

But he kept coming back to content and storytelling, questioning every nuance of how to present news. In fact, he said newspapers should get out of the breaking news business.

“We have well paid journalists just sitting around twittering. I like social media and acknowledge its value, but how can journalist be twittering all day bringing depth to what readers really want.”

Print might not die, but he believes the multi-section American-style newspaper model should.

His formula:

Go from an 80/20 (news brief to depth ratio) to a 20/80 model (briefs to more depth).

“If a reader has been in the cave, they will get the short summary, but if you know the headlines as
most of our readers do today, here is a much larger canvas with much more layers to explain why and how this news happened.”

Basically, embrace the concept of newszines: Less yesterday, more today and tomorrow.

And since INNOVATION sees the future model being built around online with texts and print being iterations of that, new narratives need to be created for this digital world.

“We need compelling new grammar, unique journalism that sells.”

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Two of INNOVATION¹s recent projects include the redesign of Liberation in France and the helping on the concept of the recently launched “i” daily newspaper in Portugal.

INNOVATION in Australia who worked on the Liberation project, joined Senor on stage to lend their advice about reinventing the business.

Figueireido said for his project, there was indeed the challenge of finding the right journalists to create the types of content for this new brand.

“It’s not easy. The most important thing is the people, the journalists that we hire, what we want them to do, how we want them to write. We wanted believers in the newsroom, in our concept, to be passionate about what we were trying to do. If we felt like they were not a fit, we didn’t hire them.”

Jaspan said:

“First thing we had to do was go in as a team with respect but try to massage them about change. To move from shouting to whispering about change. We wanted rational debate. We wanted to move away from journalism that just tells problems but offers solutions to those problems. Give the readers some options.”

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For a few days, the annual Innovations in Newspapers World Report with a preface of Rupert Murdoch can be purchased online for 25 Euros at http://www.innovation-mediaconsulting.com/wan-report-2009

BaldingTimothy