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Media Martini: Viral News Sites, FT’s Digital-First Strategy, Compact Newpaper

Welcome to martini-time (yes, it’s a little early this week, but why object?) Start sipping and enjoy this week’s best in media:

1.  A New Breed of Viral News Site

NowThisNews viral news site“There’s a new generation of thoughtful, news-focused startups that are finding new ways to share important news content without reducing it to a sugary mass of fluff.” According to 10,000 Words, the stars of that new generation are Upworthy and NowThisNews. The goal is to “condense big news topics,” distilling them down to “digestible and shareable bits of information.” With an informal style meant to appeal to a younger demographic, these sites are “turning traditional news on its head.”

2.  Financial Times Strategy is Now Digital-First

Financial Times Digital-First StrategyThe Financial Times editor Lionel Barber reveals a new digital-first strategy, announcing a “big cultural shift for the FT that is only likely to be achieved with further structural change.” The strategy will involve cutting 35 jobs, but adding 10 new digital journalists. He asserts that the FT can thrive only “if it adapts to the demands of its readers in digital and in print.” This will include launching new products and services online in 2013, starting with a new weekend FT app.

3.  Debut of the Compact Newspaper

Compact Newspaper Debuts in USThe very first “sectioned compact paper in the United States, using an innovative “three-around” technology” will be published next week in Columbus, Ohio, according to Poynter. The news pages are about one-third smaller than the traditional size, and benefits of the new format include: color capacity on every page, better display opportunities for editorial content and ads, a 50% increase in press run per hour, and big savings in paper use.  However, retrofitting existing presses is costly, making the changeover “expensive, time-consuming and radical.”  Will other papers make the move?

What stories were you talking about in media this week?