Future. Risk. Innovation.

Posted on May 11, 2018 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Perhaps these are the words I have heard the most in every newspaper on every continent I have been in the last 15 years.

We constantly listen and learn from different successful cases around the world and wonder if such an idea would apply to our reality. But in fact, what awaits us in the future of print and digital journalism? Does anyone have the answer to what lies ahead?

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For the current SND magazine, published worldwide, I interviewed 5 professionals whom I admire, from different areas, countries and realities, about ideas and their perspectives for the future.

 

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Philipp Jessen
CEO Storymachine (former Editor in Chief of Stern.de)

- If you could choose one idea, concept or executions that you have seen out there and are worth stealing, what would this idea be?
For some media outlets the homepage doesn’t exist. People are increasingly consuming news in a different way. More and more the focus is on content. A great example of innovation, taking in consideration this matter, is what “Now This News” is doing, intelligently taking content directly to where the readers are.

- What is so special or innovative on that?
The focus is on the product and the product is the content. They are radical. They killed their home page. If you enter on their home, you will see the message:

HOME PAGE.
EVEN THE WORD SOUNDS OLD.
WE BRING THE NEWS TO YOUR SOCIAL FEED.

- What is the key for news companies to don’t fail at innovation?
There is no formula that applies to everyone. Each medium must find its own way and know who are their readers. It is wrong to think that a thing that works for one product in a different market, will work for your publication as well.

- Is it still possible to innovate in print media?
Yes. And for me innovation is quality.
But we also forget sometimes that what we deliver is a product. And we often forget fundamental things like our points of sale.
In Germany, for example, our newspapers are sold in kiosks that are often dirty and are places where people buy cigarettes, lottery and vodka. Do we really want to have our product associated with these places?
Why do big companies from other markets invest large amounts at their product sales points, and we don’t care about that?
Why don’t we invest in our own shops? Or why don’t we put our content directly where our readers are? For example: a fashion magazine sold in a fashion store? Sounds obvious, but we still don’t do it.

 

erreaJavier Errea (Spain)
Founder and Principal of Errea Comunicación

- If you could choose one idea, concept or executions that you have seen out there and are worth stealing, what would this idea be?
I love some small, radical, true journalism projects such as XXI magazine in France. No digital platform strategy, no advertising revenues no newsstands distribution. Just quality, paid circulation and print. That means courage, clear ideas, far from trends and world forum kits. I also admire small print and independent and profitable projects in Europe. This is a time for being really disruptive.

- What is so special or innovative on that?
I would say that these projects are focused just on content, which is our only add value.

- What is the key for news companies to don’t fail at innovation?
Answer is very simple: quality. Whatever it means and implies.

- Is it still possible to innovate in print media?
No way! Is it a sincere question? Are you kidding me? My question would be just the opposite: is it possible to be innovative in digital? Why everyone agrees that digital means innovation and print means tradition, conservative, nothing? I strongly disagree. I complain. I protest. I am fed up with digital supposedly superiority. I reclaim a missing self-esteem. This is a very dangerous and unfair question. I would prefer not to answer.

 

marcoMarco Grieco (Portugal)
Art Director of the weekly “Expresso”, in Lisbon.

- If you could choose one idea, concept or executions that you have seen out there and are worth stealing, what would this idea be?
Actually, I think that everything that surrounds us can become an inspiration. A car, an advertisement, a piece of furniture, a smartphone… if you are an open-minded designer and person, even the “not so good” ideas can catch your attention and be a starting point for your work when the the right moment comes.

Looking to some great international examples of modern journalism, it’s impossible not to mention the site fivethirtyeight.com, created by Nate Silver and recently bought by ESPN, after being partner of The New York Times group. The idea that everything can be analyzed in numbers, charters and maps is amazing! It’s a modern and imaginative way of deconstruct and tell stories without lose the main point.

- What is so special or innovative on that?
Infographics are not a new language for newspapers or magazines, but the idea that everything can be explained with it and that every story can be enriched by them is very interesting. Data journalism became one more way to tell a story.

- What is the key for news companies to don’t fail at innovation?
It is a million-dollar question. But in my humble opinion, the news companies have to be where the readers and users are. And have to understand their tastes and needs to deliver the best product they can. On the other side, the newsroom has to work side by side with the technology department. Nowadays, after the journalist power era and the designer era, the “creepy” guys that can program html5 and other strange names have the power.

- Is it still possible to innovate in print media?
Yes, of course! Right now, there are so many good examples all over the world! Through the last years, it’s difficult to separate the paper and the digital when you talk about journalism and design. And both of them will continue their evolution, many times hand by hand. But I really think that there will be a time when we will have to look back and analyze the whole path. Are we doing a better newspaper now? Not just the design and if it is elegant or not. The good journalism and the good visual journalism will never die. Or, in other words, they should never die!

 

gustavoGustavo Lo Valvo (Argentina)
Design Directorm Bureau de Diseno Editorial

If you could choose one idea, concept or executions that you have seen out there and are worth stealing, what would this idea be?
The design from “Politiken” (Denmark).

What is so special or innovative on that?
It is a perfect marriage between form and content.

What is the key for news companies to don’t fail at innovation?
To understand that innovation and technology are not synonymous. Innovation is about ideas, technology is just a means to express them – it is empty by itself.

Is it still possible to innovate in print media?
I think it is not only possible but absolutely necessary.
The dizzying pace of change in digital media anticipates a rapid migration of homepages to notifications on mobile and social networks. Paradoxically these homepages will disappear sooner than printed papers.

The current paradigm of the newspaper is exhausted and the newspapers stopped being the vehicle of the news. Their great opportunity is to become the vehicle for information.
The daily paper has lost the race for immediacy but can win the fight for the depth. If it reacts in time.

 

salesFábio Sales (Brazil)
Art director of O Estado de S. Paulo

- If you could choose one idea, concept or executions that you have seen out there and are worth stealing, what would this idea be?
The development of data-based infographics that the New York Times has been implementing over the last decade and that have influenced all newsrooms around the world.
- What is so special or innovative on that?
The infographics that had been applied to journalism until then were the classical infographics: schemes, drawings, processes to explain to the reader certain points of a report or a complete report. Not that this is bad; And it continues to have its space and value. But the data visualization applied to infographics allowed this language to reach another level: that of discovering stories through the data.

- What is the key for news companies to don’t fail at innovation?
Think outside the box. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them. Have an open and multidisciplinary culture. Encourage experimentation, discussion and constructive criticism. And have the humility to recognize that our profession is an eternal learning.

- Is it still possible to innovate in print media?
Yes. To the extent that you know the audience you are writing for, look for alternatives that meet your desires. Journalism is a democratic tool and independent of the medium in which it is disseminated will always be necessary for the development of society. And this is exactly where innovation lies.

 

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