Future of newspapers is not on Facebook: AMF

-Print media will survive, but in a new format, says Jacek Utco

We are in the digital age - the age of social media - and are increasingly being accustomed to instant news feed. So, what happens to print media?

"Well, the future of print media is in our hands, not on Facebook," says Jacek Utco, newspaper, magazine and web designer and Poland’s winner of 'Best Designed Newspaper'.

Speaking at the Arab Media Forum on Tuesday, Utco believes print media is required now for the transition into digital media. However, with a change in design, layout and content strategy.

One of the reasons why small-time newspapers are closing down is not because of the encroaching digital media, rather because of their own fears and policies. "Keep the revenues high, never compromise on the content and print quality," urges Utco.

Get Creative
Print media definitely has a future, however, a change in design is mandatory. The more newspapers adopt the magazine style, the easier for them to survive. "News should become timeless and the layout needs a new approach.

“For instance, long articles starting with a typical headline, followed by the body and conclusion will not serve right. Getting creative is the need of the hour," Utco opines.

Converting text into listings, with numbers, breaking paragraphs into bite-size pieces with subheads, playing around with the headlines by using dramatic fonts and surprise elements are other key imperatives in preserving the print media for a longer period.

Similarly, a new look at the design and layout is inevitable. Use infographics generously, make the pages visually appealing, and more importantly, the cover page ought to become more intelligent. 

Utco says, the future of print media will definitely be different. "We have come a full circle. Earlier, newspapers were printed only on weekends, then it gradually became twice a week and finally all seven days. Now, some newspapers are printed once and twice a week. Gradually, it will become a weekend edition."

This makes it crucial for print media to adapt to the changing trends in content strategy as well as layout and print designs.

"For instance, traditional typography in collusion with modern graphics makes an attractive page. Also, articles need to be smartly written," says Utco and adds that using the story-telling format would be ideal, but it needs to be done intelligently.

Digital media is here to stay and evolve. Meanwhile, print media can thrive if it adapts to the changing times.

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