Can art save print media? Award-winning newspaper designer thinks so

Jacek Utko addresses the Arab Media Forum.
Updated 03 May 2017

Can art save print media? Award-winning newspaper designer thinks so

DUBAI: Bold, artistic newspapers that take inspiration from magazines will stave off the death of print media, award winning newspaper, magazine and web designer Jacek Utko said at the 16th Arab Media Forum in Dubai (AMF) Tuesday.
This year’s AMF brought together 3,000 media figures, academics and experts to discuss a range of topics related to the media in the Middle East.
Utko, who has won the ‘World’s Best Designed Newspaper’ award from the Society for News Design four times, shared his views on how to save newspapers from the rise of digital media.
Two newspapers he recently redesigned — Het Parool from Amsterdam and De Morgen from Belgium — were recognized as European Newspaper of the Year in 2015 and 2016.
Having redesigned a number of flagging newspapers across the world, Utko believes the key is in the format.
The newspaper should “almost be on the edge of art,” he said, adding that he looks “for inspiration in magazines.”
Utko shared his view that the 19th century format of text beneath a headline is “dead” and encouraged newspaper designers to think outside the box by using bold, innovative visual layouts.
“There are many new ways to tell the story, such as listicles and graphics, using numbers to organize information and bitesize chunks of information which are easy to digest,” he said.
Calling for image-led pages replete with “challenging and witty” text, the designer stated that to engage readers, they must “lose the sense of where the article ends and the infographic begins” and added that the all-important cover page should be “intelligent with a sense of humor” in a bid to make readers think.
In recent years, media experts across the world have warned of the so-called death of print media as digital readership increases around the world and information-hungry consumers gain access to free, breaking news at the tap of a finger.
However, Utko believes newspapers can rise to the challenge if editors realize that they cannot compete with digital media outlets in terms of reporting on breaking news due to the sheer speed at which it can be reported online.
To circumvent digital media, he said, newspapers should be published less frequently and present in insightful, in-depth commentary on well-designed pages complete with powerful imagery.
“We will see a lot of newspapers dying in the near future” unless they can change the traditional model, he concluded. 


Missing Pakistani TV reporter is found after 72 hours

Updated 24 October 2020

Missing Pakistani TV reporter is found after 72 hours

  • Geo's bureau chief in Karachi said Ali Imran Syed had contacted his wife to say that he had reached his mother’s home
  • Earlier police registered the journalist’s disappearance as an “abduction” case without naming suspects

ISLAMABAD: A reporter working for Pakistan’s leading Geo News television who had gone missing in the southern port city of Karachi has been found, family and colleague said Saturday.
Geo bureau chief in Karachi, Fahim Siddiqi, said Ali Imran Syed had contacted his wife by phone to say that he had reached his mother’s home.
Earlier police registered the journalist’s disappearance as an “abduction” case without naming suspects.
The reporter left home late Friday evening telling his wife that he would be back in half an hour before disappearing for 72 hours.
Recently there have been several cases of Pakistani journalists being detained or abducted for several hours, before being released.
Azhar Abbas, head of the Geo TV, earlier said he has contacted provincial and federal authorities “to help trace the missing reporter” and “ensure his safety.”
Siddiqi said the reporter’s abduction may have been related to his work on recent political events, including the arrest of an opposition leader who is the son-in-law of former premier Nawaz Sharif.
Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said in a tweet no one should “disappear in a democracy”.
Pakistani media has been facing renewed pressure from state agencies that have sought to control the topics covered by the media and even restrict the selection of guests for TV talk shows.
Journalists and press freedom advocates often accuse the Pakistani military and security agencies of pressuring media outlets to prevent critical coverage.
In December last year, a Karachi based reporter with the Express Tribune newspaper, Bilal Farooqi, was arrested on charges of spreading hateful content against the country’s military on social media.
In July, Matiullah Jan was briefly detained. Jan is known for criticism of Pakistan’s military and security agencies.

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