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June 11 2013


Gamification Done Right

A look at an example of gamification done so well, it's almost invisible.

February 05 2012



Financial Times reports:

Formula 1 World Champions from past to present will take part in the first ever Financial Times supercar experience – the FT Run To Monaco. The exclusive event will see former F1 champion Damon Hill leading the participants in a fleet of luxury supercars on a route from London, through France and culminating at the Monaco Grand Prix 2012.

My take: when you have a great newspaper yo have great readers and great advertisers, so you must have great marketing ideas. In a time of timid initiatives, second-class promotions,  low budgets and lack of imagination, this is a refreshing event. Think Big to win Big. Bravo!

Thanks to INNOVATION’s Peter Litger.

(Something that my friend Javier Goizueta en his fantastic team can do for any Spanish newspaper)

February 03 2012



Alfonso Nieto died yesterday in Pamplona (Spain) but his legacy as a person, friend,  writer, thinker, mentor and leader will last for many years.

He was the absolute force behind the development of Journalism education in Spanish universities.

During his time as president of the University of Navarre we founded INNOVATION.

We learned from him many lessons and one of them was that “nothing is more practical than a good theory.”

Alfonso Nieto was a close friend of the late Leo Bogart, a founding director of INNOVATION.

Like Leo, he was a man of good manners, many friends, sharp mind and highly educated.

Both loved books and libraries.

And both loved newspapers.

But both were very critical about poor media business management.

Without credibility, values and compelling service to readers, advertisers, audiences and communities, press and media were “cathedrals without soul”.

Alfonso Nieto was  a pioneer in news media management education.

He saw very early, in the 1980′s, the big role and future of free newspapers and wrote a seminal book on this matter.

When I went to New York’s Columbia Journalism School as a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in 1978, his frequent letters to me during that year were always inspirational, challenging and really friendly.

A few months ago I got in the UK his last one, saying that he missed the Hay-on-Wye bookshelves!

They too, and all of us.

Don Alfonso, we will miss you very much.



January 28 2012



INNOVATION is right now working with our Media Architects of Calau&Riera in Barcelona and our international network of Newsroom Management Consultants in almost a dozen of new integrated multimedia newsrooms, in United States, Latin America, Europe, and Middle East.

Watch here a short video clip with the key-elements of these “information-engine” and “digital first” multimedia newsrooms.

(In the picture, the Russian Ria Novosti super desk in Moscu)



Let’s face it.

Many newspapers look today like a daily morgue.

A compilation of dead news bodies.

Well presented, but dead.

And our newsrooms spend time and time just to collect, embellish and organise the daily morgue.

Yes, we do some forensic journalism too, but it’s too little, to late.

Instant analysis is done more and more by websites, blogs and wire services.

So, what’s the role of a daily newspaper?

Not to be a news morgue.

Not to be forensic media

But “Prognosis Media.”

Diagnostics are not needed in newspapers after dead news are in front of us.

Again, it’s to late.

What our readers need and want in print or in tablets is “Slow Cooking Journalism.”

Not just telling us what we already know, but “Forward Journalism.”

Print and tablet news journalists are needed to advise and prevent.

Welcome to the “Strategic Journalism” preached in the 1980′s by pioneers like Claude Monnier.

Welcome to INNOVATION’s “Caviar Journalism.”



May 09 2011



Last week, we saw how some of the “worst offenders” explained the Osama bin Laden story with fictional graphics.

As soon as I started to post some tuitts in my Twitter account @GINER, I saw that many colleagues from many countries reacted in the same way, among them ny friend Alberto Cairo, the infographics editor of EPOCA magazine in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

With Alberto, we wrote “six basic rules” that must be observed to deliver real news with graphics.

Then I contacted Barry Sussman, an INNOVATION Senior Consultant that now serves as editor of the Harvard University Nieman Watchdog Project and he offered that website to post the “check-list” with a short article, and a first list with 58 colleagues from 22 countries immediately endorsed the statement.

Claude Erbsen in New York edited the “six rules” and Barry Sussman in Washington DC edited the full article.

A few minutes ago all this was posted at the Nieman Watchdog website with the same illustration that leads this post, as it fits the purpose and sense of this statement: the front page of the William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal “explaining” the news from Cuba.

And we included a few examples from some of the “worst offenders.”

Like this one from UOL in Brazil:

This from the Daily Mail in the UK:

This one from CBS News:

This one from ABC in Madrid:

This one from the Hindustan Times in India:

This one from NMA News in Taiwan:

Or this from JT France:

You can find an extensive selection with wise comments of Gert K Nielsen about some of the best and worst infographics in his blog VisualJournalism.

But, more important, we just wanted to stress five ideas:

  • Facts ,not fiction, is what drives Journalism.
  • Visual Journalism is not Show Business.
  • Editors must lead this battle against fake information.
  • Visual journalists must resist any pressure to deliver graphics “at any cost.”
  • And infographics are not a substitute when we don’t have real information.

This what I learned from Alejandro Malofiej, Miguel Urabayen, Peter Sullivan, Mario Tascón, John Grimwade, Chiqui Esteban, Nigel Holmes or Javier Zarracina, and many of the best visual journalists of the world.

And we cannot accept less.

• If you agree with these convictions, please add your signature in the comments section of the Nieman Watchdog, spread the word between your newsrooms, and we will include your names in the next editions of this first wave of endorsements.

March 14 2011



A fantastic coverage of a very dramatic story by the new ODIEL, the last newspaper redesigned by INNOVATION’s Antonio Martín.

First results after the launching:

Circulation is +15%

And advertising is UP in the worst months of the year.

March 12 2011



While there is not too much real and accurate information about the nuclear crisis in Fukushima, but we are getting the first pictures from the area.

With the help of all of you I will keep updating the collection.

REUTERS is leading the pack with these amazing pictures:

People who are evacuated from a nursing home which is located in evacuation area around the Fukushima Daini nuclear plant, rest at a temporary shelter in Koriyama, March 13, 2011. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
by Sharon Ho at 4:44 PM

Officials in protective gear check for signs of radiation on children who are from the evacuation area near the Fukushima Daini nuclear plant in Koriyama, March 13, 2011. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
by Aviva West at 3:49 PM

Police wearing protective clothing and respirators head towards the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant in trucks in Minamisouma City, Fukushima Prefecture March 12, 2011.
Credit: Reuters/Yomiuri

This satellite image, obtained March 12, 2011, shows post earthquake and tsunami damage at the Fukushima Dai Nai nuclear plant in Japan March 12, 2011. An explosion blew the roof off an unstable reactor north on Saturday, raising fears of a disastrous meltdown. REUTERS/DigitalGlobe/Handout
by Aviva West at 3:43 PM

This image made from Japan’s NHK public television via Kyodo News shows the Fukushima Daiichi power plant’s Unit 1, left, in Okumamachi, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, Saturday, March 12, 2011. The walls of the building at nuclear power station crumbled Saturday as smoke poured out and Japanese officials said they feared the reactor could melt down following the failure of its cooling system in a powerful earthquake and tsunami. (AP Photo/NHK TV via Kyodo News)

Police officers wearing respirators guide people to evacuate away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant following an evacuation order for residents who live in within a 10 km (6.3 miles) radius from the plant after an explosion in Tomioka Town in Fukushima Prefecture March 12, 2011. REUTERS/Ho New
by Reuters_MarkKolmar at 12:31 PM

A helicopter flies past Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi No.1 Nuclear reactor March 12, 2011. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon. by Reuters_TonyTharakan at 6:29 AM

Fukushima Nuclear Plant reactor number 1 Daiichi facility is seen in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan in this file photo taken in October 2008. REUTERS/Kyodo/Files. by Reuters_TonyTharakan at 6:18 AM

Fukushima Nuclear Plant reactor number 1 Daiichi facility is seen in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan March 12, 2011. REUTERS/Kyodo. by Reuters_TonyTharakan at 5:34 AM

March 11: Fukushima Daiichi power plant’s Unit 1 is seen in Okumamachi, Fukushima prefecture, Japan. The nuclear power plant affected by a massive earthquake is facing a possible meltdown, an official with Japan’s nuclear safety commission said Saturday. (AP/The Yomiuri Shimbun)

The Fukushima nuclear plant in 2008

An official in protective gear scans for signs of radiation on a man from the evacuation area near the Fukushima Daini nuclear plant on March 13, 2011. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
by Aviva West at 5:12 PM

Police officers wearing gas masks patrol in the area of the Fukushima power plant’s Unit 1.
(AP Photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Kaname Yoneyama)

Evacuees hold blankets as they stand in a line to enter a temporary shelter after radiation leaked from a Fukushima nuclear reactor, March 12, 2011. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak
by Aviva West at 6:05 PM

Reposted byatomaranti-nuclearbemba

March 11 2011



Question: Libraries in a digital age: Where do books fit in?

Answer: In our digital tablets.

March 09 2011



The New York magazine at its best!



A great illustration.

With a strong graphic message.


March 08 2011



I just got the first hot copies.

130 pages of fantastic Sappi newsprint  full of ideas, trends, innovations and great content.

This is our second global report for FIPP, the Worldwide Magazine Media Association.

As his President, Chris Llewellyn says in the Introduction, this new report started last year has been “one of the FIPP’s most successful products.”

Edited by INNOVATION’s John Wilpers in Boston and Juan Senor in London, the report was designed by Javier Zarracina, with a great illustration cover of Deborah Withey that this year shines in amazing gold and silver inks of Polestar, and brilliant caricatures from Luis Gañena

A must-read interview Jonas Bonnier opens a report that will be presented in Berlin on March 14 at the FIPP Digital’s Innovators Summit.

March 06 2011



INNOVATION’s new formula for Libération is well and alive.

This is the new advertising campaign for Libération weekends.

Selling stories.

Selling content.

Selling relevant news.



Advertising Agency: Fred & Farid

Creative Directors: Fred & Farid

Copywriters: Frederic Raillard, Farid Mokart

Art Director: Laurent Leccia.

Tags: General

March 01 2011



One year ago I produced a temporary blog about the launch of the first iPad.

I went to San Francisco for the launch and since then the tablets became the media topic of the year.

So, re-reading now the (Spanish) entries of my TABLETMANIA blog I realized that 110 % of what I said, I am sorry, was right!

Not bad for something new and received by many gurus as a DOA, “death on arrival”, product.

They were wrong.

I was right.

So, now that tomorrow Apple is going to present the new iPad2 I decided to update the entries of the blog of try to find editors for an instant book in Spanish and English

Any leads?

If yes, please contact me at: giner@btinternet.com

illustration by Luis Graena

February 20 2011



Aljazeera reports:

Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has come under fire for saying he did not want to “disturb” Gaddafi during the revolt.

“The situation is still in flux and so I will not allow myself to disturb anyone,” he told reporters, prompting a wave of anger from opposition figures, who have accused Berlusconi – whose government has aggressively courted Libyan petrodollars – of turning a blind eye to Gaddafi’s human rights record for the sake of lucrative contracts.

Massacres are not the best scenarios for our political operators.

Tags: General


Great design for an old idea.

Too late?

Yes, too late.



Revealing pictures.

Fidel and Raul Castro greeting Fernando Lugo, president of Paraguay.

A president in slipers, visiting the fancy decorated house of the “Comandante”.


Compare this with the “mansion” of Steve Jobs.

February 15 2011



Jesse Angelo, editor-in-chief of The Daily, sent a memo to his editorial team urging them to go beyond “scraping the web and the wires” and do some actual reporting.

Read his memo and you will see why The Daily is in big trouble.

Subject: The News

Folks, Egypt is over – time for us to get focused on covering America.

We need to get out there and start finding more compelling stories from around the country – not just scraping the web and the wires, but getting out on the ground and reporting. Find me an amazing human story at a trial the rest of the media is missing. Find me a school district where the battle over reform is being fought and tell the human tales. Find a town that is going to be unincorporated because it’s broke. Find me a story of corruption and malfeasance in a state capitol that no one has found. Find me something new, different, exclusive and awesome. Find me the oldest dog in America, or the richest man in South Dakota. Force the new White House press secretary to download The Daily for the first time because everyone at the gaggle is asking about a story we broke. Get in front of a story and make it ours – force the rest of the media to follow us.
It’s good stories that will keep people coming back to The Daily – we’ve assembled a crack news team, so let’s show the world what we can do.



More good news for INNOVATION from the Society of News Design.

Lee Steele reports:

In its 32nd annual The Best of Newspaper Design™ Creative Competition, the Society for News Design has named Portugal’s inewspaper, a daily that launched in 2009, the World’s Best-Designed™ Newspaper.

Newspaper: i (short for informação)

Launched: 2009

Based in: Portugal

Size: Compact format, saddle-stitched, 250 x 345 mm or 9 ¾” x 13 5/8” with the trim


As judges, we may have been more surprised than anyone to see that only one paper ended up on the World’s Best list in 2010. In fact, we carefully “parsed” our decision — reached by secret ballot, hence the surprise — to see why one publication edged out the other world-class newspapers on the table in the final round.

In this era of great upheaval in media, the decision came down to innovation.

Many publications we saw are clearly operating at the top of their game, and have been tenacious and intelligent enough to emerge stronger from the economic battering of the last few years. But Portugal’s daily newspaper, i, stood out for its ability to take the best of the visual language of newspapers, magazines and other publications and create something new that is more than the sum of its parts.

It’s compact. It’s fresh. It’s consistent, yet full of surprises.

Its magazine-like size allows the reader to hold the newspaper close; the format invites the reader to engage more deeply. The publication is packed with information, yet extremely well organized, using elements of layering and editing to draw readers into every page.

i walks the line between newspaper and magazine with perfect balance. Its format supports the kind of flexibility that lets it focus on hard news one day and features the next. The editions we saw featured a lead story about a great author one day, then strong reporting of the Haiti earthquake the next. We encountered stories told with a sense of urgency and newsiness, and others told with subtlety and humor.

The paper delivers traditional newspaper content with new, engaging presentation.

This causes us to wonder: Is this where newspapers are going? Is it where newspaperscould go, or should go?  Can new techniques make print even more vibrant and relevant?


The covers appealed to our curiosity, using techniques like thoughtful cropping of images to add intrigue. Color and variety drew us to the publication, providing provocation and an intellectual challenge. The cover featuring the Jose Saramago illustration “is amazing,” said one judge. “I just want to eat it. Every page offers up things that you want to devour.”

It’s smaller than most tabloids (250 x 345 mm or 9 ¾” x 13 5/8” with the trim) and it is saddle-stitched, so it holds together like a magazine. Readers can easily fold pages back, navigate without difficulty and — perhaps — concentrate without the distractions encountered with larger, unbound formats.

Designers are clearly thinking about the way two facing pages work together, whether the stories are related or not. This creates a flow that encourages reading without interruption.

i is composed like a beautiful piece of music. It has the discipline to play only the high notes that matter most. For example, it uses its full bleed capability sparingly. It creates strong impact, even with small things. The surprise of occasional whimsy makes the content inviting.

The publication has a steady grid structure, type and color palette that create a strong platform for difference and surprise. The grid and space look effortless. But there is more complexity than it first appears.

Typography is classic, not trendy. From very large to very small, the principles of scale and contrast apply throughout their type palette. Sans serif feels serious; the serif is more playful. It’s a wonderful contrast.

Headlines are relatively small, but pop within the context of the page.

We found color on every page, yet it is used purposefully, with smart pacing. It’s as though the designers are using a highlighter to clue the reader in to what’s important. One judge called this “print search optimization.”

The palette is rich. Cyan, magenta and yellow create a base for navigation while richer colors provide depth and contrast.

Details in the informational graphics are lovely. They are efficient, distilling ideas down to their purist form. Icons are very simple, easily discernable.

A minimalist approach allows larger treatments to stand out. One example: a two-page graphic that starts the cover story for the “Zoom” section.

i has even rethought the ubiquitous weather page, with a smart approach to organization and color. The compact approach communicates lots of information quickly.

Much of the photo play in i is like a mini reportage. Informational photos are used well, often organized in a series. Most of these images aren’t huge, but they are used proportionally within the design. We were amazed at how compelling we found spreads that didn’t actually include a dominant image. The structure of the page tied it all together.

Mug shots are set up within a round frame. This balances the very rectangular format. It’s a nice trick. It softens the hard edges.


What we recognized in this year’s winner was its fresh, unique approach. “i” can inspire visual journalists and publishers anywhere in the world to rethink their models and revise or create new ones that best serve their audiences. They may look nothing like i.It won’t — and shouldn’t — represent everyone’s treatment.

We encourage all designers to apply similar creativity and tenacity to finding their own voice and expressing it with conviction and excellence, no matter the size of the staff or access to other resources.

The judges:
Haika Hinze, Die Zeit
Heidi de Laubenfels, The Seattle Times
Svetlana Maximchenko, Akzia (Moscow)
Carl Neustaedter, Ottawa Citizen
Sara Quinn, Poynter Institute.

What the SND report  doesn’t say is that “i” was from scratch an unique project of INNOVATION lead by Javier Errea and working since the first day with a brilliant team of founding editors (mainly Martin Avillez Figueiredo, Andre Macedo and Nick Mrozowski) that doesn’t work anymore for a paper that with less resources than ever still keeps the same creativity fire.

To all of them (past and current editors and designers) must go all the credit.

For the full story see the chapter about “i” in our 2010 INNOVATIONS INS NEWSPAPERS.

Over 200 pages of “i” can be seen in Flickr

January 20 2011

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