ÑH7  SUMMIT
Walk facing the rest of the flock
Innovation and entrepreneurship have been very present in the second day of the ÑH7 Congress. In a world hit by the crisis, it is necessary to highlight and to provide users with something different, with something special.
Benjamín Lana, director of Regional Media at Vocento, used fishery examples to explain that "we lived good times in the past, there were many fish in the sea (readers) but this has changed now, so we must pursue the readers, seek new baits, innovate, implement our professionalism....". Lana stressed that the discussion on the integration of newsrooms, or the creation of the ‘Single Newsroom’, "has died due to the size of the newsroom itself. What we need is to invent cold fusion, that is, to be able to avoid the natural repulsion between the electrons in order to produce heat, or in other words, to avoid the natural repulsion between paper and the digital world. "
Like Lana, another ‘writer’ speaking among designers was Ana Alfageme, journalist and head of Social Networks at El País. Alfageme entitled her conference ‘@noticiabomba! O cómo las redes sociales nos han cambiado’ (‘@breaking news! Or how social networks have changed us’), and explained briefly the evolution “since the popular Netscape Internet browser until 2009, when a man gave an exclusive to the world by means of Twitter via a mobile phone”. She also presented Eskup, the social network created by El País, which was launched in 2010 during the World Cup, and that is designed "to bring journalistic values to global communication." "Eskup can be many things," she said, “but it is above all an informational tool."
Another journalist who had to "recycle" is Martina Recchiuti, editor in chief of Internazionale’s website. A magazine where "we publish once a week the best of newspapers around the world." Martina explained that her project was born from the following question: "Would it be possible to create a magazine with the seriousness of The Economist and the design and the nerve of The New Yorker?" The answer is yes: Internazionale. Recchiuti stressed the great respect they feel for the reader, but also for the means from which they draw their stories. "We have a strong relationship with our readers, because they are our strength," she said. The key to her is having a good atmosphere within the newsroom. "We are a small team so we are forced to be always exploring; we are few people, have a good relationship with each other, we enjoy what we do, and we read the best of all newspapers... In short, we are a happy island."
The Italians of IL, the magazine from Il Sole 24 Ore, Walter Mariotti and Francesco Franchi, explained in detail the graphic design as well as the content of the magazine. Inspired by Kandinsky, the title of their conference was 'Point and Line to Plane (News)'. "What we mean is that the form and the content must work together to deliver an appealing and functional idea." Mariotti and Franchi stressed the idea of "combining the artistic and the useful features in order to achieve a balance, because one should keep in mind that, in the end, our aim is to tell a story." As a summary, they explained that "the keys to our success are content, design and passion."
"How is it possible that there are still today young kids who think about joining the army and be deployed to Iraq?" That was the question raised in The Denver Post after a speech by President Bush in 2007. They decided to give the best possible answer to it by telling the story of a young soldier from the time of his enlistment. Responsible for doing so was Craig F. Walker, a photojournalist, who devoted two years to capture in pictures every moment of Ian Fischer’s life. He won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Photography thanks to this work. During 45 minutes or so, Walker showed a number of pictures included in his article, which was published in the Denver journal on three days (9, 10 and 11 September), and talked about the emotions, the ups and downs, the soldier's life and also about how this experience marked him. His conference was really brilliant.
Nicholas Felton is a graphic designer. Also a storyteller, "something that started in 2005 when I decided to tell my friends my life in figures: how many beers I had taken, how many miles I walked, with how many people I went for dinner, etc." He could not suspect that so many people would be interested in those stories posted on the Internet. "They started calling me, asking me for the report, so I expanded it in 2006; it became more visual, more comprehensive, with more figures." Felton has a theory: "Everything can be reduced to figures, and everything has a story. The key is to combine both of them in order to communicate." Since, according to him, "information can calm the curiosity and be an entertainment."
The last conference of ÑH7 Congress had nothing to do with the world of journalism or with journalistic design. To everyone's surprise, Vincent Termote, Nespresso Iberia CEO, took the floor. But, as Javier Errea said in his introduction, "Nespresso is a good example of how in a closed world, such as the one of coffee, where everything seems to be already invented, there is still room for innovation, for experimentation and for success with new ideas."
Termote agreed with this. According to him, "one must believe to see, not the opposite. One must believe in different things, and put them courageously in practice; the key is launching projects, one must reinvent himself." He explained that "we are not talking about coffee, but about an experience, an emotion. And I think this can also work in the case of journalism, since words convey emotion, too."
Nespresso Iberia CEO also said that their product “is a luxury item, we want to reach 5% of consumers that nobody else is able to reach, and make every individual feel special”. And he ended up his conference with an optimistic, hopeful message, an example for the attendees: “The emotion factor is essential to what we do. And, from time to time, if we want to change things, we have to walk facing the rest of the flock… and be brave”.