The Financial Gazette website has been updated to include a new section where the publication are testing what they are calling their E-Paper demo.
The E-Paper will be the same paper you’ve come to familiarise yourself with physically but it will be accessible digitally. The E-Paper will be a PDF hosted in a separate section on the website and it looks exactly like the physical edition of the FinGaz you can get on the streets.
How does it look?
Taking into mind the fact that this is still in the demo phase the layout takes some getting used to. Not to say that it’s ugly but it is different from how we’ve become accustomed to consuming news be it online or physically. Think of the E-Paper as a hybrid between what is offered online and what’s offered physically.
The E-Paper doesn’t translate as well on mobile but the swiping animations mimic what you would see in a physical paper. It’s a small detail but a cool one nonetheless.
Why an e-paper?
The only reason I can think as to why Fingaz would pursue this model is because the “e-paper” format allows Fingaz to maintain their advertising slots and keep ad revenue coming in. Journalism’s shift to the internet has come with it’s own problems and one of those problems is how do publications make the same or more money whilst having to contend with more competition.
This problem is a nightmare in the ‘developed world’, so you can imagine what it must be like in developing nations like Zim. There are less advertisers locally who have embraced online marketing so that means already there is a problem for physical publications trying to go digital.
With the e-paper FinGaz is trying to strike a balance between satisfying advertisers who may not want to make the jump to digital and readers who want the convenience of consuming their content from phones/laptops.
The problem might not necessarily be one of satisfying advertisers who are stuck in the past. Even if all the people who advertise with the FinGaz are willing to jump on the bandwagon there are limited advertising slots on a website as compared to in their physical paper so maybe that’s why they are testing out the e-paper format.
Will it stick?
To be honest I’m not sure if an e-paper is the answer. This is a very different execution of what we’ve come to expect in terms of news delivery but as long as they can make the experience as smooth then the FinGaz stands a chance.
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