On January 19, 2009, I (one of the members of the think tank that helped found “i”) wrote this INNOVATION “Manifesto” to the editors of “i”. On May 7, you will see if we have done what I suggested in this memo.
A newspaper is like a restaurant.
Its reputation has to be validated every day, with every meal, by every customer.
So, it’s not easy.
It’s a huge challenge.
But I am sure that the fantastic team of “i” will deliver their best journalism caviar.
Day by day.
Each day better and better.
Until then, here is the “Manifesto”:
The new “i” will be news caviar.
Not news pottage.
News, stories, analysis, opinions and services will be presented in a first-class graphic model, but the secret of the new formula will not be the quality of the design but the relevance of the content.
This has been a content-driven redesign.
“i” wants to be an extremely efficient newspaper.
Offering quality and compelling information in an attractive, compact, and easy to read newspaper format.
Not zooming old formulas into fewer pages.
But enhancing the best content ever edited.
As an editor’s newspaper, “i” will need very strong editing of the news.
Editing must be one of the most important newsroom skills.
Editing means, first, to be selective.
Editing means, second, to write and rewrite to make the content better.
The new graphic model will be a perfect tool for this editing, editing, editing mantra.
With a “show, don’t tell” news strategy.
Smart infographics will deliver greater amounts of information.
Like good and dramatic pictures.
Or provocative and meaningful illustrations.
Our Portuguese readers will get more information than ever in print and online .
And our superb content will capture more eyeballs than ever.
The website will offer expanded versions of our print content.
Everybody and everything will be edited.
So, columnists will be edited.
Letters to the editor will be edited.
Front page stories will be edited.
Reviews will be edited.
Features will be edited.
Listings and agendas will be edited.
The print edition will be our premium edition.
Only the best of the best will have space in print.
At the end of the day, our strength is not how many pages we print or how much information we deliver, but how much time our readers spend reading, not just looking or browsing.
If we can increase the time devoted by readers to our tightly edited print newspaper, the new model will be a great success.
The new formula of “i” combines short and long pieces, but both will be strongly edited.
This is essential journalism.
This is intense journalism.
This is reflective journalism.
So, we as journalists will need to work more so that our readers work less.
This will be our best service to them.
And to our advertisers, who will love a print product that makes readers read and enjoy news and ads.
Devoting more and more time.
The dream of any journalist.
And the best business for any newspaper.