Media Magazine

In Australia: Outsourcing of the Classy Type

Posted on the 16 August 2011 by Themarioblog @garciainteract

TAKEAWAY: We take a look at Pagemaster, an offering from the Australian Associated Press to newspapers in which a team of copy editors and designers produce pages for a variety of sections across Australia, New Zealand and other countries. This is our Australian Report #2

This week in Australia: Part 2

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All of the above pages were part of the Pagemaster production team

When we hear the word outsourcing in terms of newspaper production, we usually immediately get images of poorly executed pages in remote locations where those producing the pages have no idea what the editors and designers originating the content and visuals have in mind.

However, here in Australia, I have learned that there is such a thing as editing/production outsourcing of the classy type, where the operation is seamless, the results impressive and everyone from editors to art directors to those producing the pages are not only synchronized but perfectly happy with the arrangement.

Indeed, I spent the day with the folks of the Australian Associated Press, conducting a workshop for both the print and digital teams.  In the process, I was happy to learn about the AAP’s successful runaway Pagemasters program. in which a fantastically talented team of designers and copy editors lend their services to such titles as The Sydney Morning Herald, among others, in the copy editing and/or designing of pages that range from news to features and supplements.

The results? Impressive, to say the least.  I could not imagine, as I leisurely read the Sunday edition of the Morning Herald, for example, that those supplements had been almost completely executed by the AAP team.  The members of the design team walked me through all the pages they do.

My initial question: how do art directors who are usually so propietary about their ideas allow you to “touch” their pages?

No problem,“ I heard from Toni Caldwell, one of the lead designers.  “We work together, we have learned from each other. We talk on the phone. We email, and, of course, we respect what the original design concept is for each of the titles we design for.“

The last of the “news drivers”?

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Driver John Foster, The Sydney Morning Herald

He says he is perhaps the last “news driver” in all of Australia.

Meet John Foster, the affable, friendly news driver from The Sydney Morning Herald, whom I had the pleasure of riding to and fro today as I visited the newsroom of one of Australia’s premiere newspapers for a talk to the team about tablet publishing.

John tells me that he is the last remaining news driver at the Morning Herald, and perhaps in the country.

There were 8 of us at one time, those were the glory days, and I remember always carrying a photographer and a reporter together on assignment, then collecting them to bring them back to the newsroom, oh, the stories you would hear before they became real stories in print,“ John tells me with a big smile, as he proudly shows me the many beautiful spots of his native city.

Not only has John been a fixture of the Morning Herald for over 30 years, but he sits in the newsroom, not in a corner of a dark garage downstairs. He is in the thick of it and “loves it.“

News people are fun, and talkative and full of stories, this is the world I know,“ he told me.

An interactive graphic of consequence

Go here for this Stanford University graphic that shows growth of newspapers in different languages in the US.

Enter the contest

You think you have the answer to this intriguing question: What is the future of news?

Then, there is a contest you may wish to enter to offer your views on the subject.  The Shorenstein Center (Harvard University) , which has been at the forefront of understanding the impact of the press on politics and public policy for 25 years, is sponsoring a contest to find an answer to that question.

For those interested, go here:

TheMarioBlog post #832

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