INNOVATION AND CHANGE IN “EL COLOMBIANO”

Files under General | Feb 6th
EL COLOMBIANO, one of leading Latin America’s family-owned quality regional newspaper, celebrates today in Medellin its first 100th anniversary.
The editor, Ana Mercedes Gómez, and the General Manager, Luis Miguel de Bedout, have been the forces behind this dramatic change in a country where media business are booming.
The paper launched today its new format (from standard to Berliner) with new full colour state-of-the-art printing presses, and a new design formula 100% produced and implemented by the innovative in-house ECOlab lead by Martha Ortiz.
INNOVATION’s Chairman Carlos Soria, Marta Botero and Antonio Martín were in Medellín helping during the launch.
INNOVATION was asked to re-invent the content model and the newsroom management model, including the concept for a new open-space, integrated and multimedia newsroom, now a work in progress project following the ideas of our Calau&Riera media architects.
Besides, INNOVATION is working with the board of directors of EL COLOMBIANO in its new multimedia strategy and corporate governance one the group.
INNOVATION’s director Carlo Campos is leading the project and more than a dozen of INNOVATION consultants are involved in this work.
The first issue of the new paper includes an original of the most famous Colombian artist, Fernando Botero: a painting done in a front page of the old paper.
This has been a fantastic 9-month content-driven project that shows how newspaper publishers and editors must lead the digital transitions of their new multi-media companies.
EL COLOMBIANO es here to stay, growing, changing and innovating ready to celebrate the next 100 years.
(In the pictures, the new front page, and the ECOLab team celebrating the launch of the new EL COLOMBIANO)

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GOOD NEWS FROM BERGEN, NORWAY

Files under General | May 7th

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I spoke yesterday at the Bergen Media Festival.

More than 200 people in a full and crowed room with dozens of people standing in the corridors and in the back of the auditorium.

That was good news because next door and at the same time Elizabeth Murdoch was speaking about creativity.

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My 60 minute presentation kay-messages to the Norwegian newspaper editors:

-This is time to invest, change and innovate.

-Just “saving and cutting” will not solve your problems.

-You need courage to lead the digital media transition.

-Full newsroom integration is a must if you don’t want to end with a ghetto company.

-New young generations are not buying your paper because they don’t see compelling content in your print editions.

-Your papers are full of irrelevant content: too much of noting.

-The iPad will not solve your problems if what you do is what you did with the news websites.

-The adoption of new digital narratives are the biggest challenge facing your newsrooms.

-Invest in your newsrooms but only if they change.

Jeff Jarvis spoke later to the same audience live from New York with his standard negative and pessimistic messages and nothing new to say.

A media blogger asked him to be more practical and less generic with his ideas.

My feeling was that Norwegian editors want real change and they don’t buy negative outlooks.

This is the best European market for newspapers and they don’t accept that newspapers will die.

Good journalism is alive, and these editors are ready to change and innovate.

Vikings are tough fighters!


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“WHY I LEFT THE TELEGRAPH”, A DISTURBING MESSAGE FOR ANY MONOLITHICAL MEDIA GROUP

Files under General | Jan 20th

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Greg Hadfield, Telegraph Media Group’s head of digital development, is leaving the company.

He explains here the reasons in The Guardian.

A good reading for any “Monolithic Media” gang.

He ends with a great message: the time for innovation and change is running out.

A serious call.

To survive, newspapers need to rethink radically not only their business models, but also how they manage their businesses; they need to overhaul outdated organisational structures; they need to consider how they relate to all their employees, to third-party providers of content and services, and to individuals with whom they may have no contractual arrangement whatsoever.

Most crucially, they need to rethink how they relate to their communities of readers, subscribers, and users, when they know next to nothing about members of their digital audience. They need to identify their most loyal users and then work harder to meet their individual needs.

No longer can newspapers survive by publishing at their readers, by talking down to them, by controlling what can and can’t be written or said. In future, they will have to provide – and share, not “own” – the online environment in which they can meet the needs of individual members of their community. They have to be part of social media, not monolithic media.

But for those newspapers that survive, it is going to be a long journey. Who knows how long? I suggested radical innovation may take five years … because the future always seems to be five years away.

At 53, however, I don’t have as much time as many to wait for the future. I want to help make it happen now.

(Picture by Graham Turner)


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BILL KELLER’S MEMO: MORE CUTS, LESS CHANGE

Files under General | Oct 19th

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Two hours ago, the editor of The New York Times sent this email memo to the newsroom staff:

I had planned to invite you to the newsroom and break this news in person today, but I’ve been hit by something that seems to be the flu. Though I strongly believe in delivering bad news in person, I don’t want to add insult to injury by spreading infection.

Let me cut to the chase: We have been told to reduce the newsroom by 100 positions between now and the end of the year.

We hope to accomplish this by offering voluntary buyouts. On Thursday, the Company will be sending buyout offers to everyone in the newsroom. Getting a buyout package does NOT mean we want you to leave. It is simply easier to send the envelopes to everyone. If you think a buyout may be right for you, you have up to 45 days to decide whether you will accept it or not.

As before, if we do not reach 100 positions through buyouts, we will be forced to go to layoffs. I hope that won’t happen, but it might.

Our colleagues in editorial and op-ed, and on the business side, also face another round of budget cuts.

In recent years, we’ve managed to avoid the disabling cutbacks that have hit other newsrooms. The Company has chosen to protect the journalism by cutting production and other business-side costs, and the newsroom itself has managed its resources frugally. These latest cuts will still leave us with the largest, strongest and most ambitious editorial staff of any newsroom in the country, if not the world.

I won’t pretend that these staff cuts will not add to the burdens of journalists whose responsibilities have grown faster than their compensation. But we’ve been looking hard at ways to minimize the impact — in part, by re-engineering some of our copy flow. I won’t promise this will be easy or painless, but I believe we can weather these cuts without seriously compromising our commitment to coverage of the region, the country and the world. We will remain the single best news organization on earth.

I doubt that anyone is shocked by the fact of this, but it is happening sooner than anyone anticipated. When we took our 5 percent pay cuts, it was in the hope that this would fend off the need for more staff cuts this year. But I accept that if it’s going to happen, it should be done quickly. We will get through this and move on.

In my absence, Bill Schmidt and John and Jill have volunteered to take your questions this afternoon. Feel free to bring additional questions to me as soon as I’m back, or check with Bill Schmidt or John or Jill privately, or save them for the next Throw Stuff at Bill session, which is in a couple of weeks.

We often — and rightly — voice our gratitude that we work for a company and a family that prize quality journalism above all. I hope you know that the company and the family, and I, feel an equal debt of gratitude to all of you whose sacrifice and loyalty have kept us strong.

Like you, I yearn for the day when we can do our jobs without looking over our shoulders for economic thunderstorms.

Bad news?

Yes.

The editor of The New York Times was expecting to survive from the global financial crisis with no more cuts in his newsroom.

Well, if the Sulzberger family wants to keep the Boston Globe, The New York Times has to pay part of the bill.

The big problem with this kind of cuts is that the newsroom will do the same with less.

And what we need is… to change not to cut.

If not, more cuts, more cuts, more cuts…

So, change or cut.

The New York Times has made, I am sorry, a bad option.

Cut, cut, cut.

(In the picture by Sara Krulwichs, Bill Keller, last Marc,h announcing other cuts)


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