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Daily Tele experiments with Budget-focused front page wrap to avoid ‘stale’ coverage

The Daily Telegraph’s use of a transparent wrap yesterday was part of new editor Chris Dore’s efforts to be more creative with budget coverage with Dore concerned budget newspapers have become “stale”.

Yesterday the News Corp-owned daily ran a transparent wrap promoting its Federal budget coverage.

The transparent front page featured Treasurer Scott Morrison, while the secondary front page featured a similar cartoon of Morrison depicted as a superhero.

The back page used the transparent wrap to juxtapose Scott’s sell of the budget with Daily Telegraph columnist Joe Hildebrand’s verdict.

Dore told Mumbrella it was the first time The Daily Telegraph had used the transparent wrap for editorial purposes.

“While advertisers have used the transparent wrap for high-impact executions over the recent past, we’ve never used the see-through paper for an editorial enterprise,” he said.

“For me, the budget was a perfect opportunity to experiment with a different medium in our traditional newspaper format.”

Dore said he worries “budget day newspapers have become very stale”.

“Suddenly, broadsheets and broadsheet-minded newspapers that sneer at the daily tabloid creativity with front pages, publish cartoons and photoshop images on page one. Yet that’s the limit of the creativity. I don’t get that,” he said.

Yesterday’s budget coverage saw cartoons the front covers design of choice, with the exception of The Courier Mail which opted for a Photoshopped cover of a play on My Kitchen Rules. 

Dore, who during his tenure as editor at fellow News Corp newspaper The Courier Mail was known for his impactful splashes, rejected the idea “the tactile experience of reading a newspaper has had its day”.

“We will sell 80 million copies of The Daily Telegraph this year,” he said.

In the October to December period of last year the newspaper sold 255,448 copies.

Dore:

Dore: ‘The definition of what a modern newspaper should look like is still up for grabs’

“Our loyal readers love the paper and demand the highest standards from us each day. They respect tradition but also are open to being taken to new places. We have to keep innovating and finding new ways of presenting our great journalism, photography and art.”

Dore is open to experimentation, but says it has to be connected to the story.

“The definition of what a modern newspaper should look like is still up for grabs,” he said.

“The experimentation has to be connected to the story, to help capture the reader but also bring the tale to life and not just be a gimmick for the sake of it without the substance.”

In the past Dore said he has “flipped the paper” during State of Origin to put sport at the front and run news at the back and has also “turned a tabloid into a broadsheet for a day” to run a 16,000 word feature wrapped around the main newspaper.

Dore said he used the transparent wrap as it “helped illustrate the transformation theme the Treasurer was trying to convey in his budget”.

He admitted that it was an expensive choice, saying it “was not carefree decision”.

“Logistically it was a massive exercise – getting the art to marry up precisely and getting the reveal to work was quite tricky,” he said.

“But the result was very effective and I reckon had several positive implications. It was a terrific experience for the reader and depicted the budget in a creative and interesting way, showing to readers we can still surprise and entertain in new ways.

“It also showed advertisers that there are endless creative solutions in newspapers that have enormous potential.”

Miranda Ward

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