Interview with Joachim Blum
Joachim Blum is an independent media consultant and freelance journalist based in Düsseldorf, Germany. He also works for Ifra in the Newsplex training programme.
newspaper techniques: Mobile services are continually developing. Where do newspapers stand today?
Joachim Blum: With the exception of a small number of newspapers in Scandinavia, Switzerland or also Asia, most newspapers worldwide are at best at the initial stage of integrating mobile services into their media portfolio. This is obviously due to the fact that, for traditional newspaper producers, mobile publishing is at least as suspect as online journalism.
nt: What new possibilities arise for newspapers?
J. Blum: Very many newspapers become interactive, the contents can be consumed at anytime and in any place, and with “push” services even in real time. All newspaper departments can benefit: editorial, advertising, marketing/sales.
nt: What are the audience expectations?
J. Blum: The audience want more than a folded newspaper in the mailbox in the morning: they have information and service needs throughout the day, and these can be effectively satisfied by mobile services provided by the newspaper. Since the advent of the Internet, this information has long become acceptable and commonplace in digital form, and can now be received on the mobile.
nt: How do publishing houses generate income? Who are their partners?
J. Blum: Publishing houses can charge for mobile information and also use cross-
nt: What form could "MINDS II" take?
J. Blum: The first step was the EU project, which gave rise to the German MINDS platform that now provides 40 percent of the German newspaper circulation with mobile services. The second step is MINDS International: an organisation active on an international scale that transfers new applications from one country to another and, by its close contact with the mobile companies, picks up on innovative developments and adapts them for newspapers in the form of attractive services.
Joachim Blum is an independent media consultant and freelance journalist based in Düsseldorf, Germany. He also works for Ifra in the Newsplex training programme. Until 2003 he was editorial leader of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, for which he designed and helped establish the North Rhine-
Interview by Klaus von Prümmer, senior editor for Ifra publications.
Page first published: 28.06.2006