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August 31 2010

06:32

2010 INNOVATIONS IN NEWSPAPER WORLD REPORT (6): THE EUROPEAN NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR

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Last week, the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association’s Congress devoted one of its main session to our project in Portugal.

The INNOVATION’s i newspaper, as INMA’s CEO Earl Wilkinson, who was there, says, “redefines what a brand can be in print with a “daily magazine” design so stunning and different as to defy characterisation.”

Get the full report here.

July 15 2010

10:30

THE PROBLEM FOR POLITICIANS, POLITICAL PARTIES… AND NEWSPAPERS TOO: DEPRESSING ABSENCE OF ANY INTERESTING IDEAS… NOTHING BRAVE OR PROVOCATIVE

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In yesterday’s Guardian editorial, a great observation regarding to Lord Mandelson memoirs:

“The second thing to emerge is the depressing absence of any interest in ideas.

Of all the books to come out of the Labour years – by David Blunkett, Alastair Campbell, Peter Mandelson, Mo Mowlam, Lance Price and co – not a single one makes a sustained intellectual case for Labour government.

There is no passionate debate about the party’s future possibilities; nothing brave or provocative.”

A knockout message for politicians, political parties… and, yes, for newspapers too.

Many newspapers look like old cathedrals without soul.

Old bottles… with no wine inside.

And Earl Wilkinson is right too: “Empty newspaper brands don’t age like wine”

January 06 2010

15:31

INMA’S EARL WILKINSON: SORRY TO DISAPPOINT THE PUNDITS, BUT NEWSPAPERS SURVIVED THE STORM…

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Earl Wilkinson writes in his INMA blog:

Reading through the inevitable year-end looks back at 2009, it’s amusing to see how the pundits have just now “discovered” that the worst economic pounding in eight decades didn’t actually kill newspapers after all.

That hardly makes newspapers a growth industry. That hardly means there aren’t more cutbacks to come. That hardly means we shouldn’t double and triple efforts to regain key advertising categories. That hardly means we shouldn’t shift budgets toward business-building activities such as sales, marketing, research, and digital. That hardly means it hasn’t been one hell of a ride.

Yet it does mean that what INMA has repeatedly said this year has proven true:

  • There is no pending death of the newspaper industry.
  • Second-tier newspapers in the best of times would die in the worst of times.
  • Debt-laden corporate parents stole the headlines, while the newspapers they owned quietly scaled operations and maintained profitability.
  • Newspapers with generic missions positioned in the middle of their markets will be at-risk for the foreseeable future.
  • Newspapers were dramatically over-staffed with journalists, a bubble inflated by advertiser demand and not reader demand.

Despite continued cutbacks in the vaunted Washington Post newsroom, for example, the newspaper still employs more than 800 full-time journalists – roughly double the number that worked there in the halcyon days of Watergate…

Spot-on.

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