Saturday, November 19, 2005

Newspapers as Mousetrap not as Flyswatters

Here are quotes from the recent World Editors and Marketeers Conference in Athens.

"Why change formats? Readers want it, its an excuse for potential readers to revisit, it appeals to young people and women, it is an opportunity to re-energize the organization, it can reposition the newspaper and it may increase circulation."Eamonn Byrne, Deputy Director General, World Association of Newspapers
"The broadsheet is a ridiculous format for newspapers in the modern era. If you are thinking of launching a broadsheet, don’t, because nobody wants it except men over 60."
"People don’t want to talk about the philosophical underpinnings of the newspaper. They want to know what’s on offer every day."Marc Sands, Marketing Director, Guardian Newspapers, United Kingdom
"You know the second most flattering thing you can be asked for, after your telephone number? It’s your opinion."Ted Glynn, Group Circulation and Marketing Director, Northcliffe Newspapers Group, United Kingdom, on getting readers involved in the newspaper.
"It wasn’t about building a better mousetrap, but a new mousetrap."Penelope Muse Abernathy, Senior Vice President, International and Development, Wall Street Journal, on the complete redesign of the international editions for The Wall Street Journal.
"Yes, the challenges that newspapers face are intensifying. Our industry is not being complacent. There are a lot of new developments -- new titles are emerging, news formats are spreading like wildfire, together with a range of new products and new services. There is an effervescence in our industry globally and a real willingness to innovate."Timothy Balding, Director General, World Association of Newspapers
"Other media are trying to position newspapers as old and dying. They may be old, but they are not weak. They have the resources for the future."Mike Smith, Managing Director, Media Management Center, USA
"In the long term, all media will be two-tiered, with a free and a paid dimension. Think about it: 25 years ago, all TV was free, and all newspapers were paid. Now you have free and paid TV, and free and paid newspapers."Constantine Kamaras, CEO,, Greece
"Price is a guarantee that readers are interested in the content of the newspaper."Aura Iordan, Business Analyst, World Association of Newspapers
"The world is full of millions and millions of people who want to do our job for us, and publish stories on their own. Production editors no longer have staffs of 50 -- they have a staff of 50,000. The problem is, nobody knows what is good among all that. But certainly we have to be better than Google and the other aggregators at developing the tools to determine what is valuable."
"This is the most exciting time to be in print than any I’ve seen in 30 years. Newspapers are innovating, they are creating new products, they are taking chances and they are adapting to change."Jim Chisholm, Strategy Advisor, World Association of Newspapers
"Young people don’t write letters, they write e-mails and SMS. They even break up with their girlfriends by SMS. We have to take the new reality into account."Thomas Dobernigg, Director, Dobernigg & Rupprecht Kommunikation, Germany


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