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.
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.
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.
When the CEO of Google says that very soon they will make more money with Mobile than with Internet, imagine a Mobile Tablet and you will understand why the Apple coming tablet could be a dramatic innovation.
Business are moving to Mobile.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp., said he is looking to reshape MySpace into an “entertainment portal.”
In the late-night bar at the Sun Valley Lodge, from which the press was banned, most of the discussions were around the issue of free versus paid content.
Television studio executives do not want to repeat the experience of their colleagues in the hard-hit newspaper and music businesses, and are worried that consumers will expect TV shows, movies and all professional programing to be free.
“The notion that there are synergies between content and distribution has been dispelled,” says Tuna Amobi, an equity analyst at Standard & Poor’s.
“You’re not going to see a Comcast Corp trying to merge with a Disney anymore.”
Facebook’s active users doubled in eight months to top 200 million in April and U.S. visitors to Twitter surged 83 percent that month over March, according to comScore.
Internet entrepreneur Marc Andreessen and others have criticized MySpace under News Corp for focusing too much on selling ads and not enough on innovation.
The New York Times executives, not the best in the country for sure, are now saying that the big social networking sites are not very good businesses yet.
Well, a recent Fortune article estimates that Facebook is now bringing in $150 million in advertising per year, compared to the well-established New York Times Digital’s $330 million annually.
Wait and see who gets what in the next 12 months.