Wirtschafts Blatt, made a smooth and successful transition to unite its print/online operations, and redefine how news is covered in the process. Updates throughout the day today from Vienna.

"> Wirtschafts Blatt, made a smooth and successful transition to unite its print/online operations, and redefine how news is covered in the process. Updates throughout the day today from Vienna.

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The Mario Blog
04.27.2009—4am
Austria’s Wirtschafts Blatt–success with online/print rethinking

TAKEAWAY: Today I am participating in the European Newspaper Congress, in Vienna: our presentation is devoted to how the financial daily of Austria, Wirtschafts Blatt, made a smooth and successful transition to unite its print/online operations, and redefine how news is covered in the process. Updates throughout the day today from Vienna.

Updated from Vienna: European Newspaper Congress, 3:09 pm

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Trends so far as speakers make presentations, and show their newspapers:
1. European dailies seem to be adopting more of a magazine/poster look on their front pages, and many abandon the classic traditional news layouts.
2. Photography rules the day: with emphasis on ONE dominant photo, even for late breaking news, as opposed to many smaller photos.
3. White space, that one element of the design that diehard editors usually resist, seems to be gaining favor.
4. Overall, European designers turn their attention to Scandinavian newspapers and look at other European dailies for design trends, not so much to the American dailies anymore.
5. Spain is king for infographics. Nobody seems to do it better.
6. The financial crisis seems to have less impact of newspapers this side of the Atlantic.

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Images show how the news item breaks online, then the printed edition develops it as a “second day” angle on the first day it prints it.

It is Monday and it is Vienna, and today I participate in the European Newspaper Congress, a two-day event that brings together publishers, editors, designers and journalists from around Eastern and Western Europe.

I am excited to be part of a presentation this afternoon about the successful case study of how the financial daily of Austria, Wirtschaft Blatt was able to rethink and to reorganize its newsroom to foster a smooth print/online redefinition for news and how it travels. For the past year, I have worked closely with the team of the WB, and, specifically with Alexis Johann, its online manager, who was pivotal in bringing about the changes, under the leadership of Editor in Chief, Wolfgang Unterhuber, and CEO, Dr. Hans Gasser.

We have conducted a series of two-day workshops that aimed beyond a simple convergence.

So today, Alexis and I will tell participants in the Congress how we proceeded to make changes that took the Wirtschaft Blatt from being a typical newspaper newsroom operation, to one where “the path of the story” concept defined news in terms of when it happened and which would be the best medium to report it first.

Highlights of the case study:

1. Everyone in the newsroom was trained to think as news people, NOT newspaper people.
2. All journalists were provided with system capabilities to work for both online and print.
3. A clear distinction was made in how online covered a story (from alert to report to full development of the story), and how print covered it (more analysis, and the use of a second day headline on day one).
4. Attempts at selling advertising across the platforms, including mobile telephone.

How the editor in chief, Wolfgang Unterhuber put it:

With platform integration,exclusive content and second day stories now make it to the center of the printed
cover-page.Readers should not find anything on page one now that they might have
heard about the day before. News are constantly updated, this is the expericence we have to offer to our readers.

Concrete results: The Wirtschafts Blatt printed edition did not lose subscribers, and, in fact, newspaper subscriptions via online DOUBLED, 15% of registered online users ordered a test subscription to the printed edition.

Here is how Alexis Johann summarizes his experience for editors during this online/print exercise at the Wirtschafts Blatt:

Put your fears aside. Re-evaluate the path of a story inside your newsroom, and you will be surprised how quickly most editors adapt, and how much readers and users win in the process


More will be presented following the conference today.

TweetsByDesign: today Mario Tweets about convergence

In what should be an interesting experiment for me, today I will do my TweetsByDesign from the European Newspaper Congress in Vienna, but the Tweets become a series of posts about the one timely subject of convergence—-the rethinking of newsroom operations in a multi-platform environment. By the end of the day today, those who string up all the TweetsByDesign will hopefully have a full mini report of key issues about convergence.Join me for the experiment today.

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The Monday Surprise from Luxembourg’s L’Essentiel

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The Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Henri, transformed into Dr. Spok for L’Essentiel’s new marketing campaign (left).

Well, we are getting into a habit with the free newspaper of Luxembourg, L’Essentiel. Apparently every Monday the newspaper goes all out with its own marketing, stating that all the essentials are always in L’Essentiel. Thanks to Luxembourger Frank Deville, who sends us the goodies. Last week, as you recall, L’Essentiel used L’Essentiel ups the ante, goes for royalty, and uses the image of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Henri, as Dr. Spok, of the famous Star Trek series.
As we did last week, we are wondering: do these famous people AGREE to lend their images to L’Essentiel’s campaign? Let us know if you know. Now we are curious as to who will be the famous person in disguise next week.

Monday surprise #2: it gets better

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