Files under General | Feb 3rd

Alfonso Nieto died yesterday in Pamplona (Spain) but his legacy as a person, friend,  writer, thinker, mentor and leader will last for many years.

He was the absolute force behind the development of Journalism education in Spanish universities.

During his time as president of the University of Navarre we founded INNOVATION.

We learned from him many lessons and one of them was that “nothing is more practical than a good theory.”

Alfonso Nieto was a close friend of the late Leo Bogart, a founding director of INNOVATION.

Like Leo, he was a man of good manners, many friends, sharp mind and highly educated.

Both loved books and libraries.

And both loved newspapers.

But both were very critical about poor media business management.

Without credibility, values and compelling service to readers, advertisers, audiences and communities, press and media were “cathedrals without soul”.

Alfonso Nieto was  a pioneer in news media management education.

He saw very early, in the 1980′s, the big role and future of free newspapers and wrote a seminal book on this matter.

When I went to New York’s Columbia Journalism School as a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in 1978, his frequent letters to me during that year were always inspirational, challenging and really friendly.

A few months ago I got in the UK his last one, saying that he missed the Hay-on-Wye bookshelves!

They too, and all of us.

Don Alfonso, we will miss you very much.



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Files under General | Sep 5th


LIBERATION is a very combative newspaper.

And has been a very peaceful project.

Today Juan Senor, our London director, was is Paris checking the last details for next Monday’s launch of the new formula of LIBE.

INNOVATION’s Javier Errea and Antonio Martin are going to be there working with the editorial and graphic team of LIBERATION.

This is an old client.

Many years ago we were hired by Serge July and Evence Coppe but at that time the new graphic formula didn’t work and Pentagram’s partner David Hillman (a real gentleman!) was unable to gain the support of the newsroom and his superb prototype died after long months of “mais oui, mais non”

I had great time in Paris working with our loved Leo Bogart and Claude Jean Bertrand. Tino Fernandez and Juan Fernando Dorrego did also an excellent work in our editorial and newsroom management audit.

Later, we were asked by Vicent Bollore, chairman of HAVAS, to develop a tentative plan to use the LIBERATION newsroom resourccs for his new TV venture Direct 8, but he couldn’t get support from the shareholders of LIBE.

And almost one year ago, the new board of directors of LIBE headed by Edouard de Rothschild, hired us again this time to produce a full graphic redesign of the paper with a new editorial formula developed after several meetings in Paris with Laurent Joffrin and his team.

L’info est un combat is the new slogan for the launch campaign to emphasise that LIBE is back to quality, punchy, investigative and non-conformist journalism of the politically incorrect.

LIBE is “chic again” and `cool again’

On Monday BMW and Trudot, two top luxury brands will have six full ad pages.

And as I said, this has been a very happy and rewarding experience.

First, because our ideas got the full support of LIBERATION.

And second, because the board of directors, the CEO Nathalie Collin, the editor, and all the newsroom have been very open minded and our discussions ended in a terrific prototype.

Our special thanks go to Stephanie Aubert and Paul Quinio, two great journalists!

And, of course, to all the INNOVATION team that I lead with Juan Senor ()UK), Javier Errea (Spain), Antonio Martin (Spain), Pablo Errea (Spain), Andrew Jaspan (Australia), Thomaz Souto Correa (Brazil), Juan Cano (Spain), Deborah Withey (UK) and Sophie Bougneres (France).

Next Monday you will see the new LIBE, but wait also for the new weekend edition and the new supplements.

We enjoyed the work in Paris.

Thanks Edouard, Nathalie and Laurent, Stephanie and Paul!

In the pictures: Juan Cano, Javier Errea and Laurent Joffrin in the hall of LIBE, in its glorious top terrace, and the fantastic view of Paris from the room where the INNOVATION team made the first presentations.


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