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Redesigning the news

Newspapers have long been reluctant to leave paper behind and become 100% digital. Now they have less arguments not to change.

By 451 | September 2019

For the past 20 years we have been transforming newspapers into digital newsrooms. One of our core business is to redesign news outlets such as newspapers and TV networks.

Since the beginning of 451 we have been involved in the digital transformation of newspapers. Through time we worked in almost every country in Latin America, in Europe and the US taking the experience of "reading the paper" online.

We never thought (and still not think) that paper will go away, at least for the coming years, but this 2020 is proving to be a cornerstone year in many aspects of our lives, and has started what I believe is the second (and maybe final) revolution to move reading to digital.

But I believe the change is not only coming from audiences shifting to mobile phones or social media. In some of the most vulnerable countries, such as the ones where we work in Latin America, have had large quarantines that prevented the distribution of printed papers, and publishers see an opportunity to finally move 100% online.

Some of our clients stopped printing paper and had to reshape their business (well, they had to do that years ago to follow new generations) and rethink their models in order to be able to stay alive, and keep serving the news.

People have more time to read now than what they had last year. Maybe seasonal restrictions to stay at home give everyone more time to spend reading, checking the news, and sharing. Maybe there’s a new business opportunity for newspapers to reinvent themselves and become different and finally embrace the changes in scale, both in audiences and revenue, and adapt to the world of 2020.

It is great to see that what we've predicted years ago, more than 20, was right, although many did not want to listen to it. You can fight the change, but eventually, change will win, and if you're not ready your business will suffer.

We are experiencing the last round of the battle paper vs. digital, and we know who's winning.