Files under General | Oct 26th

I’m sorry but it’s really, really bad.

Another MacPaper needed of several extra cooks.

Of course this is what you can expect from The Independent, which costs £1, and have fallen to just over 186,000 a day from about 250,000 three years ago.

A new newspaper sharing (!) the newsroom resources of the dying parent paper.

And as always, making the worst mistake:

Over promising and under-delivering.

Quality paper?

That’s insulting.

Easy to read?

I was exhausted after trying to read so much irrelevant and old crap.

A 20p joke for 52 pages of cheap shopper, arrogant, pompous, unnecessary, brainless, and commodity news crap.

Metro in the UK or 20 Minutos in Spain are quite better.

And they are free.

But they are well done.

A young voice tells all here.

It reads like one of the free London evening papers, yet with a 20p price tag. Covering a wide range of stories, but not in any particular depth. The most engaging articles being on whether Bert from Sesame Street is gay and the fact that Sony has just stopped producing walkmans. Yes, you read that correctly, the tape cassette walkman. I think the main headline there should have been that Sony was actually still producing them until recently – who knew!

As the population moves online and then online on-the-go, I feel that the ‘instantly downloaded, easy to read in high winds, won’t leave ink on your hands’ online versions of papers will leave little room for the printed ones. As readerships decrease, the cost of those huge printing presses will look like an indulgence, similar to Wayne Rooney sipping Champagne in Dubai celebrating his new £250,000 a week salary, compared with the cost of publishing online.

So, i paper, how long shall we give it? A year? Two? I think ‘the paper for today’ doesn’t have a very prosperous tomorrow.

And another one from Scotland:

It is ‘Indy light’ but, given that The Independent is suffering from falling sales to such an extent that it may have to fold before too long, there clearly isn’t the resource to run this properly.
To succeed, it had to be better than the free sheets and, on the evidence of this morning’s edition, it isn’t.
I hate to damn a new newspaper because I want it to succeed but, in this case, I can’t see any other option. Don’t waste your money.

But, don’t worry, buyers will say the last word.

Mine is: my first buy will be the last one.

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Files under General | Oct 25th

Steve Jobs announced the launch of many new “Dead On Arrival” (DOA) Tablets.

So, let’s check the best candidates for this funeral ranking.

First one: Toshiba Folio 100

An Android 16GB tablet to be launched in November (UK) with these Pros & Cons.


Bigger touchscreen than the iPad (10.1 inches)

I doesn’t quite have the resolution of the iPad (1024 x 768)

A 1.3 Mp web-cam for video calls.

Displays Flash animations.

Cheaper (329 GBP): 100 GBP less than the iPad.

USB 2.0 port (not in the iPad or Galaxy).


Less intuitive operating system (FroYo).

Less sophisticated design.

Plasticky-feeling chassis

Access to less apps, many of them designed for Android iPhones, so not optimised to run on big-screen devices.

Only seven-hour battery (40% less than the iPad)

Only wi-fi version (3G option later).

Heavy: 750g.


Big but not sexy.

More movie-centric than media-centric.

Not an iPad killer.


“It’s the wine, not the bottle”.

So, hurry up, and register in the INMA/INNOVATION Harvard Tablet Summit.

The deadline is coming.

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Files under General | Oct 23rd

ARA is the name for the new Catalan multi-platform newspaper to be launch in Barcelona on Monday November 25. 28

Small format and short pagination (40-48)  during weekdays and trying to produce a big weekend edition.

The founders will present the new paper formula next Tuesday October 26 but many details, including its own Manifesto, have been released here.

Like the new British “i” newspaper, ARA wants to reach a new generation of Catalan newspaper readers and non readers with a slick, crispy, trendy and compelling print brand with many electronic news extensions.

The goal is really modest and realistic (11,000 copies in the first year) but the founders expect more than that.

Keep in mind that the almost 8-million Catalonia market is smaller but richer than the 10-million Portuguese one where “i” sells more than this figure.

They are investing less than 9-million euro and they the business plan expects to break-even in four years.

The less than 100-journalist newsroom will have very young reporters and the top editors are also a new generation of journalists, lead by Carles Capdevila as editor in chief, Joan Alegre as publisher and Oriol Soler as president of ARA.

INNOVATION was approached by the founders of ARA interested in many of our most recent projects, including the Portuguese “i”, which multimedia newsroom visited in Lisbon, but we have not been involved in any way.

They told us that the ARA project will share many of our ideas (“compact and compelling newspapers”, “caviar journalism”, “daily-news-magazines”, “”30/30 newspapers”. “why and what’s next newspapers”, “show don’t tell journalism”) and the same with the integrated multimedia newsroom concepts that INNOVATION working with our Calau&Riera media architect partners have developed in many countries like the most recent one for India Today in New Delhi.

With more than 19,000 fans on Facebook and more than 3,000 followers on Twitter ARA is promoting the new paper with several viral marketing tools including pre-launch presentations across Catalonia.

Is this new paper going to be a real competitor of La Vanguardia, El Periodico de Catalunya, Punt Diari or Avui?

I don’t think so, but they better pay attention to all these grassroots tactics.

Newspapers are as strong as their connections with readers, audiences and communities are.

And ARA is doing this very well.

If the product delivers this kind of new post-news quality journalism and avoids the temptation to become another political partisan newspaper, ARA could find space and become a viable model.

So, again, like with the new “i” project in the UK, welcome to ARA and to any new paper willing to innovate and offer quality journalism, in English or in Catalan, because around the world there is only one journalism language: the good one.a

UPDATE: A few, and not very impressive, front page proptotypes.

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Files under General | Oct 22nd

I just got this nice message from a happy client in Salvador, Bahia (Brazil):

Dear friends of Innovation:

I’m glad to inform you that Correio* has assumed the leadership of circulation in Bahia last September.

Our total circulation was of 47.239 copies, against 44.301 copies of our competitor A Tarde.

The good news is that our sales are still growing, with the average circulation of 51.489 copies until October 21st.

I would like to thank one more time for the outstanding contribution of Innovation to this conquest.


Luiz Alberto Albuquerque, Executive Director, Correio.

They are very, very happy.

Me too.

Like all the INNOVATION team in this project: from Eduardo Tessler, our director in Brazil, to Guillermo Nagore, Carlo Campos, Javier Ramírez, Chiqui Esteban, Oscar Valporto, Ricardo Melo, and Decio Trujilo.

And congratulations to all the Correio directors, editors and staff: they are the ones that really made this possible.

I still remember my first meetings with the Magalhães family, and how confident they were giving us full freedom to suggest and make dramatic changes in then a bankrupt newspaper, and now a very profitable  lider.

As Rede Bahia, the holding company of Correio, is a partner of the Globo network, after my first visit to Salvador I stopped in Rio and meet Joao Roberto Marinho.

His advice was: go ahead, Juan Antonio, this paper needs the help of INNOVATION, and trust the new generation of the Magalhães family, they will make any changes needed.

He was absolutely right.

And today Correio is the fastest growing newspaper of Brazil.

So my last thank you note goes to my friend Paulo Sobral, and he knows why.

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Files under General | Oct 22nd

Simon Valdman writes:

“The challenge isn’t just to do something smart and new on the edge of a traditional business – but to transform the business as a whole, and to position it for sustainable, profitable growth in the future.”

What a lesson for the print versus online talibans!

And said by the former director of digital strategy of the Guardian Group.

(Thanks to Guillermo Nagore in NY)

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Files under General | Oct 21st

Since The Independent announcement of a new paper for

‘lapsed readers of quality papers’

many people contacted INNOVATION asking us the same questions:

Are you involved in this project? NOT AT ALL.

Is a franchise of the Portuguese i? NOT AT ALL.

What to do you think about the idea to call it i? IT DOESN’T BOTHER US AT ALL.

What’s your impression about the new paper? CALM, LET’S WAIT AND SEE.

All that said, let me add a few personal comments:

1. I am very happy to know that there is a British newspaper company that has the gutts to launch a new print paper, and I congratulate them. That’s an act of bravery.

2. I am very happy too that they want to create new readers. That’s the only way to survive. If you don’t get new young readers you are dead. So, congratulations again.

3. My only concern is that ghetto newspaper don’t work. You will never succeed patronizing women with women sections and young readers wit newspaper for young people.

4. And I have very serious doubts about the final results of flashy newspapers or readers for “non readers”. Young people read and write more than ever. So it’s not a question of design (let’s scream!) or short or long news and stories, but a question of content, content, content. The new gewnerationd don’t read our traditional newspaper just because their interests, lives, passions, opinions, feelings and concerns are NOT reflected in our pages.

That’s the problem.

That’s the solution.

And for this you don’t need a new niche or “ghetto newspaper.”

But if  i finds a new, loyal and growing audience, The Independent journalists and managers will get a very strong message.

This was going to be, let’s remember, The Times for New and Young Generations”.

Something that The Independent wanted to be, but failed.

So never is too late to try it again.

My best wishes for them.

Thank you for adding a new print voice to the elderly and dying British newspaper market!

And count with me as a “newspaper fan” and reader.

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Files under General | Oct 20th

What an impressive new Macbook Air!

Presented a few minutes ago.

With only flash memory.

And great battery time.

With Steve Jobs, as always, expect the unexpected!

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Files under General | Oct 15th

The King of Spain says some banalities (Education is the future, we need better universities, we need to fix some problems, and work harder) and the empty words become the front page of ABC in Madrid.

Again, “if you don’t play well, at least play louder”

Welcome to the unnecessary newspapers!

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Files under General | Oct 15th

The Times of London has today a brilliant and brave leading editorial:

Keeping Shameful Company: Iran has systematically undermined Middle East peace, promoted terrorism and sought a nuclear weapons capability. British businesses have helped it.

And explains:

Iran aims at the annihilation of a member state of the UN. It should not, in any circumstances, have access to overseas capital. Yet when President Clinton sought to impose sweeping sanctions on Iran in the mid-1990s, the UK banks Barclays and Lloyds TSB went to elaborate lengths to enable the Iranians to circumvent them. The most flagrant manoeuvre was to remove references to the identity of Iranian clients in transactions so that US authorities would not be alerted to the transfer of funds from Iran.

Later in pages 38 and 39, The Times tells with more words the story of these dealings.

And as you can see (but not understand), includes an infographic about How they were linked

Well, if you are able to understand this infographic without reading the editorial or the long article, you are my hero.

What a chaos of arrows and lack of clarity!

If the the Malofiej Awards had a category for the worst graphic of the year, this is a serious candidate.

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Files under General | Oct 15th

This cartoon is not funny.

Published today by The Times of London in a column explaining why the British paper has decided to make again T2 as a separate section.


Hard news and main section for the lord of the house.

Soft news in the trashy T2 section for the lady of the house.

A macho and ghetto approach that explains why many editors and publisher don’t get it.

Go to the streets.

Go the offices.

Go to the stadiums.

Go to the universities.

…or just look inside your own newsrooms.

Women and men sharing the same spaces, jobs, sports, education and interests.

But our macho newspapers don’t get it.

So good luck if you alienate 50% of your potential readers!

This cartoon is a perfect example of a reality that doesn’t exist anymore.

Breakfast together?

Reading the newspaper?

The only real thing is that the readers of these macho newspapers are as old as the people shown in the cartoon.

And, you know?, they will die with them.

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