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Decline of US newspapers continues unabated

Need is for a generation of journalists with multi-tasking skills

Gulf News

The rollback in US newspaper journalism continues unabated.

‘The State of the News Media 2013’ — the annual report on American journalism — reveals that newsroom cutbacks in 2012 had the industry down 30 per cent since its peak in 2000 and below 40,000 full-time professionals for the first time since 1978. Worldwide, the situation is not much different and is the case even in the Middle East.

It means that in the near future, industry professionals will need to adapt and learn more specific functions apart from writing and editing text. Marketing, programming, entrepreneurship and design could be part of journalistic routine.

Websites have already created a job description of future journalists. A new term that is starting to pop-up for a content producer is “wire-framing”. It relates to the information hierarchy of your design in any screen design process.

In any design process, be it for print or online, it is important to make a layout with a pen before spending time creating it in pixels or html. Specialised software can help build these frames according to the platform — tablet, mobile or desktop -—characteristics.

In a report in Adrea Jezovit, a content interactive producer, explains; “I’d say you don’t need to have a strong background in visual communication to be good at wire-framing. Wire-framing is a different skill from visual design — it’s more about thinking about the structure of a site or an interface and making sure all the important information and functionality is in there, while (most importantly) making sure that it will make sense to the user.”

Leading wire-frame websites

•Android Patterns: Offers a set of interaction patterns to help design Android apps. (

•Adobe Proto: A new Adobe Touch app lets you create interactive wire-frames and prototypes of websites and mobile apps on your tablet. Communicate and share ideas with teams and clients using a touch-based interface. Initially available for Android.

•InVision: Whether you’re presenting wire-frames or full-fidelity mock-ups, 
InVision creates an accurate picture of flow and functionality.


Before arriving in the US, Mirko Ilic — who will be delivering a lecture at the American University of Sharjah — art directed numerous posters, record covers and books in Europe. In 1991, he became art director of the international edition of Time magazine and a year later took up responsibility for the art direction of the op-ed pages at The New York Times.

His company has received awards from various organisations including the Society of Illustrators, the Society of Publication Designers, the Art Directors Club, I.D. Magazine and Print Magazine.