A new design for our readers

At the heart of the new print design transformation is a simple word: relevance

Khaleej Times
Khaleej Times

By Vinay Kamat

Published: Thu 2 Dec 2021, 10:50 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Dec 2021, 11:02 AM

KT’s tryst with news began nearly seven years before it was born —when the nation was founded in 1971. That pivotal moment and people’s resolve influenced the newspaper as it carved out a space for itself as a story-teller.

It was a fond relationship between the raconteur (KT) and the achiever (the nation). That relationship has only got deeper.

Today, in the Year of the 50th, Khaleej Times pays tribute to a great nation and its marvelous people as it sets new benchmarks in science, technology, health, education, and urban living. Leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators have made all this happen. Progress continues to dominate the nation’s breaking news—and KT’s.

KT has always picked inspiring stories that connect the dots between aspiration and fulfilment, opportunity and happiness, growth and well-being, local and global. We look at a future where immersive content and AR will become a staple.

This will upend the pyramid of journalism. In essence, the new world is about micro-customising news, sharply targeting multiple platforms and delivering real-time.

KT’s new app & website, its social platforms, and its newly-designed newspaper are redefining story-telling. As digital platforms talk to one other and offer audiences seamless eye movement, the epicentre of content—the newspaper—is undergoing a dramatic change.

The newspaper you are reading today, and will deeply engage with in the days to come, is a vastly different daily that first came out in 1978. It has an elegant design, global ethos, easy navigation, visual story-telling and content differentiators that set it apart from competition.

At the heart of this print design transformation—which will slowly impact other platforms— is a simple word: relevance.

How relevant will content creators be in future? How can they engage audiences in a world of clutter?

To answer those questions, KT has been engaging with the polymath, Dr Mario Garcia.

Garcia, who has been involved in 700 design projects in 121 countries. He brings in a multi-brand/audience expertise.

As the CEO/ founder of global consulting firm Garcia Media and Senior Advisor for News Design/Adjunct Professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, he’s equally involved in mentoring and market dynamics.

During Team KT’s association with him during the last few months, we realised his screen sense: his quick-on-the-draw ability to spot pluses and minuses in stories, scrolls, and social cards on mobiles.

Every interaction with him was a sensory experience as much as an academic exercise. It’s the screen, stupid. That would be the essence of the numerous conversation we have had with Dr Garcia.

In a smart new world, you no longer hold a mirror to news. You hold a black mirror. That has been the significant small-screen impact on how we report, write, design and deliver.

Transformation is a journey; it’s a fluid construct. It teaches us that audiences and their preferences are changing faster than we ever imagined. Every journalist knows that (s)he has to be ahead of the news curve.

Two more curves have now entered the news graph: technology and audience. As we keep negotiating, and flattening, those curves at KT, we remind ourselves of our passion.

The passion for excellence. It’s the most visible goal-post in a transformation. We are indebted to our nation for setting that benchmark.

Vinay Kamat, Editor-in-Chief

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