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What’s next

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/nikos_konstandaras/2009/05/newspapers_paperless_future.html

 

As news print has proved incompatible with the immediacy of today’s fast-paced digital lifestyle, newspapers are going digital. It’s a tried and true sentiment shared by emerging and time-tested shoe-leather journalists, alike, but despite all the discussion in journalism circles about the downfall of print, newspaper minds have yet to perfect a website that presents editorial content with the no-fuss navigation internet users desire. That’s the assertion Nikos Kostandaras, managing editor and columnist of a leading Greek newspaper, made in a 2009 post on the PostGlobal, a joint online venture between the Washington Post and Newsweek. Though the post is a few years dated, Kostandaras details concerns relevant to news consumers in 2013 — in order for newspaper websites to fully outpace the novelty of hard copy print editions, they must craft websites that merge the content readers desire into one neatly packaged, user-friendly page. For Kostandaras, that includes an up-to-the minute feed detailing the latest news, interactive interfaces that allow users to submit traffic and weather alerts, as well as a platform that permits users to navigate between multiple information mediums, from short story to encyclopedia. But despite lightly admonishing newspapers for failing to maximize the unlimited space of the worldwide web, Kostandaras concludes his post on an upbeat tenor — in a world of misinformation and speculation, journalists are needed more than ever to set the record straight. The basic truth in that, Kostandaras asserted, is fundamental for the newspaper industry to right itself.

http://www.niemanlab.org/2010/11/getting-lapped-by-innovation-abroad-mario-garcias-path-to-better-designed-newspapers/

Take risks. That’s the general takeaway from a November 2010 Josh Tapper Nieman Journalism Lab post. In the post, Tapper references international newspapers referring to other international newspapers — not U.S. ones — for direction on print redesigns. International newspapers, he said, are more open to incorporate splashier color and toy with a paper’s headlines and section structures. Personally, comparing the international newspapers Tapper attached to his post, with their exciting color and innovative headline presentation, is a little more visually exciting than any U.S. newspapers I happen across on a consistent basis. In my limited time studying design, I feel U.S. newspapers are a little afraid of being that pioneer of innovation by introducing more color and more experimental design. I think designers fear the design won’t appropriately convey the story or run the risk of looking too gaudy. But I feel U.S. newspapers can take a note from international papers including  Debes Leer in Domingo and the Hindustan Times — they balance        creativity and innovation with functional news design.

DEBES LEER EL TIEMPO: The newspaper in the Dominican Republic adapts more magazine-looking design to its newspaper. The stylized headline presents information in an exciting, unusual way by U.S. standards without appearing cheap or hastily put together.

 

THE NATIONAL POST: A Canadian newspaper, published this information graphic to summarize the 999 known causes of death between 1967 and 2007. The info-graphic takes an overwhelming mass of information and reduces it to a still-informative, digestible and visually appealing format.

 

 

Debbie Truong

5 Comments

  1. It’s an important thing to note that in order for newspapers to compete in an increasingly fast-paced digital world, they must adapt to the quickness of information through their primary outlet for digital success–the website. I think most newspapers that are still surviving have already adhered to this. However, it’s how they treat the hierarchy of information that sets them apart from one publication to another. Take for example The Post Standard–while they are a leader in quick posting of information, the content gets lost because it is inundated with TOO much information. You don’t know when you’re up to date or have fallen behind because there’s no organization of what the more important stories are from less important ones. So while maximizing your publication’s audience can be critical to do through your website, you have to know how to structure it in order to really attract and maintain a loyal reader.

  2. I feel like I’ve heard a lot recently about Mario Garcia and his reputation as somewhat of a redesign guru. I agree that many American newspapers have a thing or two to learn about innovation, and I think it’s interesting that at the time of the article, Nov. 2010, Garcia had been focused exclusively on the international market, not having consulted in the U.S. for three years. (Looks like that has since changed; he just recently consulted on the Silicon Valley Business Journal redesign: http://apple.copydesk.org/2013/01/07/silicon-valley-business-journal-launches-redesign/) Overall this article is a good reminder that when looking for inspiration, we should be looking at papers all over the world, not just what’s on our front doorstep.

    • Absolutely. With a few exceptional exceptions, the most exciting work being done in print in recent years is coming from outside the US.

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