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El Tiempo Gets a Makeover

Several people have sent me emails inquiring about El Tiempo, the Colombian newspaper that hit the reset the button and appeared with a totally new concept Oct. 3. Today we show you some of the latest pages. So far readers like it, so do advertisers.

The El Tiempo concept in a nutshell

The newspaper takes its traditional content and separates it into three sections: What you must know, What you must read, What you must do. In Spanish: Debes saber, Debes Leer, Debes Hacer

Every bit of content that we put into a newspaper fits into one of those areas. But here is the catch: we no longer would have most of the sections of the newspaper as we know them. Debes Saber (What you must know) would be the first section, the one part of the newspaper you would read with your morning coffee.  Texts not too long, but comprehensive enough. We assigned each section a color. This one ended up being blue.

Content flow: Debes Saber includes Bogota, World, Business, Nation, Politics.

Those areas still have their editors, of course, but they no longer have a guaranteed space when they come to the morning meeting. One of those areas would produce the Debes Saber lead story of the day. Editors have to pitch their stories; the best one wins. I would draw the analogy of a room in the house. Debes Saber is the kitchen: the gathering place, a little nervous, busy, everyone going about his business.

Seventeen days later…..

El Tiempo design director Beiman Pinilla sends us the following pages showing how the rethinking has evolved.  “Each day is better and deasier,“ Beiman tells me. “The newsroom is adapting well, and so are the readers and advertisers. No major complaints.”

This is remarkable, considering that unlike a traditional redesign, El Tiempo’s rethinking took the entire newspaper, threw it up in the air, and then reassembled the pieces to accommodate the needs of a modern, multiplatform and busy reader.

The front pages

Front pages of Debes Hacer section

Debes Hacer is all about activity. The color orange incites you to move, to get out of the house, go for a job, walk your dog, or go shopping for a new computer, or get tips on how to take a vacation with the kids, or a romantic one with your partner.  This was a fun and easy one to plan: health, fitness, relationships, food, wine, beauty, fashion, it all fits here.

Debes Hacer is the outdoors, or the home gym, or the swimming pool area.

Front page of Debes Leer

This is the depth section: opinion, analysis, and interpretation, along with columnists. Sometimes a story that merits four paragraphs in Debes Saber gets a full analysis in Debes Leer. This section is green and the reader knows that this is going to be the more leisure read of the day, and may opt to read this during a lunch break or in the evening. Green indicates meditative reading. Debes Leer is the living room, where you kick off your shoes and lie down to read your favorite column, editorial or indepth report, with not a care in the world.

Other Assorted pages

Front page of the Lunes Deportivo (Monday Sports) section

A page devoted to automobiles, including auto classifieds

To read our other posts about El Tiempo’s new concept

El Tiempo launches new concept today http://www.garciamedia.com/blog/articles/el_tiempo_launches_new_concept_today

El Tiempo :selling the concept to editors, readers, advertisers http://www.garciamedia.com/blog/articles/el_tiempo_selling_the_concept_to_editors_readers_advertisers

El Tiempo at 100: a fresh proposition journalistically, visually, digitally http://www.garciamedia.com/blog/articles/el_tiempo_at_100_a_fresh_proposition_journalistically_visually_digitally

••All of Mario’s posts appear courtesy of The Mario Blog.