Today's Goodies: Ifra's E-Book Periodical

My favorite news site designer this side of the Atlantic is Jay Small, He is director of online audience and operations for the newspaper division of E.W. Scripps Co. and also runs his own consulting firm. Jay today reviews NYTimes.com‘s new redesign. Jay also recently made downloadable his PowerPoint slides about online audience strategy, from his recent speech at the annual America East/New Media World conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania. His slides are an excellent primer for anyone new to online audience strategy. (By the way, Nico MacDonald is my favorite news site designer on the other side of the Atlantic.)

Brian Hieggelke, founder, editor, and co-publisher of Chicago’s Newcity weekly newspaper, tried to live through March without reading any newspaper. He has some interesting observations about going Cold Wood-Pulp.

From that city, where the Newspaper Association of America annual conference is underway, the outgoing president of NAA, Jay R. Smith, the president of Cox Newspapers Inc., told his fellow publishers to “stop whining” about the woes facing the newspaper industry and to “start winning.” Smith, who apparently didn’t provide a road map toward winning, told his compatriots that, “The world changed a lot, and we changed a little.” Along with his comments, Editor & Publisher reports that one of the complaints levels at the newspaper industry during the conference is that advertisers can’t simultaneously purchase ads online and in print. (Oh, my! A solution to that was something that the New Century Network consortium of American newspaper publishing companies planned to launch during the late 1990s, but the newspaper companies involved in that endeavor screwed the pooch because they couldn’t cooperate with each other. Years later, that pooch has come back to bite them.)

For the past several months, Ifra has been releasing its monthly Newspaper Techniques newsletter for free in a Web-based e-book format. The April issue features comprehensive coverage and analysis of two current events: McClatchy’s purchase of Knight Ridder and subsequent reselling of 12 of the 32 Knight Ridder daily newspapers. And the sale of MAN Roland to the investment firm Allianz Capital Partners. Was the Knight Ridder situation an watershed event in the American newspaper industry? Will an investment firm now owning the world’s largest manufacturer of newspaper presses signify a shift in world newspaper industry’s heavy metal future? Read for better overviews than I’ve read elsewhere. (This is the fourth month in which Ifra has experimented with an e-book version of Newspaper Techniques. I”m sure that Kerry Northrup, who was Ifra’s futurist and is now its director of publications, is the guiding hand. The January issue featured Ifra’s annual ‘Decision-makers’ Guide to Publishing. The February issue examined the business cases for each of the major formats of newspaper. And the March issue examined on the
worldwide trends and results of staff reductions at newspapers. )

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