Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Thinking outside the box: Big pictures! Weight Club! Poetry!


Here is a great post from last month that, judging by the paucity of comments and trackbacks, has gotten very little attention: it’s called “10 Steps to Save the Newspaper,” and it’s by Morten Rand-Hendriksen of Burnaby, British Columbia on his blog, Design Is Philos0phy. As a matter of fact, everything on his blog (including the design of it) is terrific, but we journobloggers don’t seem to have discovered it yet.

So do me a favor. Subscribe to his blog. Follow him on Twitter.

Now, about his ten steps to save the newspaper: visit his blog to read all ten recommendations, but let me excerpt the ones I like particularly.

Predictably, like Juan Antonio Giner, Mario Garcia and Alan Jacobson, Rand-Hendriksen is a design evangelist — big, bold design. “The internet is a visual medium. So use it.”

One of the many great things about the internet is that real-estate is no longer a problem. Want to post a 6,000 word article on penguins with frostbite? Go ahead. Have a humongous graphic or image you want to show in all it’s splendor and detail? Just place it as a thumbnail in your page and link to the full size version.In short, when moving from print to online as your publishing medium your options in terms of visual content become limitless. So exploit it.

He points to some news sites following what he calls the Massive Image Overload strategy. See, for example, Aftenposten in Norway, and click through to any major story. It makes you wonder why the Boston Globe doesn’t integrate The Big Picture (recently moved from here) into its main news pages. When you compare the Globe, Times, Washington post or almost any North American newspaper site with almost any European one, it comes across pretty tame. Massive Image Overload could be a reader option, even, like Times Extra.

Continue reading this post at Nieman Journalism Lab.

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