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TAKEAWAY: Last week, one of Brazil’s best known dailies, Jornal da Tarde, ceased publication after 46 years as one of the most visually innovative Brazilian newspapers.
The last front page of Jornal da Tarde: Thank you, Sao Paulo reads the headline
The front page of Jornal da Tarde was always full of surprises
Perhaps one of its most popular front pages: 1982, the image of a young boy crying after Italy won the match that ended Brazil’s hopes for the World Cup
Look at the variety that characterized the design of Jornal da Tarde’s front page
Just this past weekend, TheMarioBlog was all about the romancing of newspapers, and when a newspaper dies, many newspaper romantics cry, while others reminisce with sadness.
Take Alexandre Giesbrecht, a young Brazilian, media aficionado and avid reader of TheMarioBlog, who wrote to inform me of Jornal da Tarde’s demise:
“The most celebrated “New Journalism” newspaper in Brazil, it lasted from 1966 to 2012 (I was a subscriber for the last thirteen years),“ Alexandre wrote me. He has written in his own blog about the end of Jornal da Tarde and his memories about it, “including its awesome design (in the 1970’s and 1980’s) and disastrous nameplate changes”
The closing of Jornal da Tarde, after more than 15000 editions, did not take many by surprise. Rumors about its pending demise had been circulating for years. First, it was the Sunday edition that would be eliminated, but this never happened. Then, rumors persisted that Jornal da Tarde would undergo a redesign to see if its fortunes could be changed. That did not happen, either.
Jornal da Tarde’s circulation was at 36,800 when it printed its last edition, from 57,900 in 2005. Its competitor in the afternoon newspaper market, Agora Sao Paulo one with which Garcia Media was involved when it was created, and published by Grupo Folha, , has a circulation of 106,200 . In a snapshot, the global pllight of the newspaper published in a large metropolis that is situated between the large metropolitan daily and the more down market popular ones. Jornal da Tarde had to find its reason to be, its special niche. It obviously did not, and time ran out.
Last week, in an official statement, Grupo Estado, which owns the newspaper as well as the major daily O Estado de Sao Paulo, made it final: according to Francisco Mesquita Neto, President and director of the company, Jornal da Tarde was suspending operations “after almost five decades, ‘JT’ was the center of innovation and creativity […] with its award-winning journalism and graphic design, it influenced generations of readers and media professionals with a grand contribution to Brazilian journalism. Mission accomplished.“
And what a mission it was….: full of surprises
For those of us who follow innovative newspapers everywhere, Jornal da Tarde was always one to keep an eye on. In my many trips to Brazil, I would often delight in those front pages that could be poster like one day, more traditional the next. Jornal was in a constant evolution, although in its later years it apparently lost some of its visionary energy.
During the 80s, Jornal da Tarde tried to mark its territory, making itself known for being visually adventurous. One of its most memorable front pages happened in 1982, when it ran a poster front page of a young boy crying in Barcelona, after Italy defeated Brazil, thus taking the World Cup dreams away. That young boy, now an adult, has appeared again this week as part of the Jornal da Tarde farewell.
The Brazilian media has written some tributes as part of Jornal da Tarde’s obituary, among which is the one from Revista Epoca.
With a headline that reads, Requien for a daily, the weekly magazine calls Jornal da Tarde “one of the most beautiful and innovative newspapers ever produced in Brazil.“
It reminds us that Jornal da Tarde was the first newspaper in Brazil to carry a TV column. It was the afternoon newspaper that was fun, sometimes irreverent, and, as Revista Epoca described it “…a literate newspaper without being pedantic.“
A reader reminisces
Perhaps because it was fun, irreverent, smart and never arrogant, it remains in the memories of many young Brazilians who started reading as teenagers.
For Alexandre Giesbrecht, , who works for a Sao Paulo travel software company, but who claims to do newspaper and magazine design as a hobby,Jornal da Tarde was like a member of the family, a newspaper that he started reading as a young boy while taking long commutes from school to home. The innovative daily made a lasting impression on Alexandre, especially its design:
“My favorite era was the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, when its design was based on five fonts, and despite that it not only worked; it thrived. (The fonts were Helvetica, Futura Light, Clarendon Light, Century Light and Egyptienne Bold Condensed, or at least that’s what they look like.) Poster pages were not the norm, but only used when merited. Probably that’s why many of the poster pages left a huge impression on the readers.“
Unlike other newspapers that cease to exist in print, but continue digitally, Jornal da Tarde is saying a firm and final goodbye across platforms. The website (http://www.jt.com.br) has already been removed, and now leads potential readers to Estado’s website.
After the dust settles, and all the obituaries about Jornal da Tarde are written, will come the analysis of why the newspaper died and how it could have been saved.
It is worth noting that in its early days, Jornal da Tarde’s logo was a youthful treatment with all the letters set in lower case style. Eventually, as Jornal matured, apparently someone decided to capitalize words in the title Jornal da Tarde. Perhaps, in the case of Jornal da Tarde, it would have been wiser not to grow up and to mature too fast.
The Jornal da Tarde logo was born in all lower case letters, and it evolved to a more mature one with capitals for J and T
Assorted pages from Jornal da Tarde
Dear Mr. President: what people would ask the President in a letter
Black out: The day Brazil went dark
Sports on Page One: not a rare occasion for Jornal da Tarde
Crackland: investigate double page report on crack-infected neighborhoods and what’s done to solve the problem
The year 2011 in review:“ it wasn’t a very good year, a year of crisi”
Type attack: in this interesting page, all based on type illustration, readers express their “vote” wishes in 140 characters or less
The Jornal da Tarde team poses together one last time in the newsroom after finishing the last edition (courtesy of Massimo Gentile)
A front page from 1966, JT’s first year of publication, with a headline announcing that all time Brazilian sport hero, Pele, marries during carnival (courtesy of Massimo Gentile)
Here is a wonderful selection of Jornal da Tarde pages through the courtesy of Viviana Jorge, art director of JT. I also thank Massimo Gentile for establishing the contact with Viviana with whom he had worked at Folha de Sao Paulo.
These pages show the visual energy and surprise elements that were a JT trademark.
Of related interest: in English
Revolutionary Brazilian newspaper Jornal da Tarde prints its last edition
The Alexander Giesbrecht blog post:
Jornal da Tarde’s own farewell commentary:
Various reports from the Brazilian press
Pages we like
Cover of the current edition of New York Magazine. No need for even one word!
From Bild am Sonntag
Is it the end of the world if Romney beats Obama?, asks the headline
”…or is it the end of Romney if the storm saves Obama?”
With the US Presidential Elections only one day away, Bild am Sonntag took the story to the next level: what would happen if Obama or Romney become the next President?
Here is the double page photo of the week: The rat as heroic figure. Here is a rat that serves as a minesweeper. The story in numbers relates that about 300 hamster rats are used in African countries to check for bombs. The rats do not usually die doing this, but they are retired after doing for four or five years. So, Bild ends the story with “For this job, we thank you, rats”.