A paper newspaper, why?

I still think there is a future for a newspaper that has a continuous online edition and a paper edition that is printed from time to time, for example, quarterly. This is the model we're going to follow at LPP / Lisboa Para Pessoas.

Parque Ribeirinho Oriente, Lisbon (LPP photo)

Digital has been part of our lives for decades, but more and more we are questioning its widespread and exhaustive presence. We've started to look at screen time, to experience our tired eyes, and to feel exhausted by so many notifications, feeds, interactions and discussions. We've started looking for quieter digital spaces, paying more attention to the time we spend online, the number of social networks we're on, and looking at paper differently.

I believe - and have always said so - that paper will continue to have its place and importance in society as a means of communication. Whether it's the poster we put up in the street to publicize a particular initiative, or the case that interests us most here: the newspaper. A paper newspaper can be left on a coffee table for someone else to pick up. It can be forgotten on a bench on the train or in the garden. A paper newspaper never runs out of battery, can be read without distraction and doesn't strain our eyes.

I still think there's a future for a newspaper that has a continuous online edition and a paper edition that is printed from time to time, for example quarterly. This is the model we're going to follow at LPP / Lisbon For People. Since 2021 we have lisboaparapessoas.pt a newscast dedicated to the city of Lisbon and, increasingly, to the metropolitan area. The editorial line is centered on people and the vectors of mobility, housing, citizenship and sustainability - we look, through the stories, reports, interviews and chronicles that we publish, from Monday to Friday, at how we move around, how we inhabit our territories, how we get involved in local democracy and how we live our cities, towns, villages, neighborhoods, streets.

Our scope is metropolitan. We don't believe in a Lisbon that ends at the borders of its municipality, but rather in a metropolitan vision of Lisbon, with different centralities that are interconnected. With the online edition and now also with this paper newspaper, we want to break myths that distances are long and cross the river as many times as necessary. We want to promote an inter-municipal experience, in which we move around the metropolitan area to access not only employment and housing, but also commerce, leisure and culture, without thinking about geographical barriers or administrative boundaries. We want the LPP newspaper and the online edition to interact and complement each other, based on this editorial vision.

Deciding to make a paper newspaper was easy, but carrying out this project turned out to be a huge challenge. We had to define and redefine the product, thinking about the structure and content that we wanted to have and that made sense in a print edition. We had to think about the line-up and produce these articles. We had to analyze different budgets and types of paper; we had to calculate the cost of production and, based on that, define the selling price; and we had to organize a distribution model. While some of these tasks were going on, we had to open the software and to start digitizing the ideas, articles and the newspaper itself, looking for technical and design references as inspiration. The result we are now presenting is part of a process that is not yet complete. We're sure that we've failed a lot, that this issue could be better. But we took that risk, because we wanted to develop a pilot edition to test the LPP Journal before the "first real issue" in March. We deliberately wanted to get a feel for the difficulty of the process and iron out the kinks.

Este processo não será desligado dos nossos leitores: sendo o LPP um jornal comunitário, que reconhece a importância de colaborar com a sua audiência, disponibilizamos um questionário online para que nos digam o que acharam. Partilhem aquilo de que gostaram e também aquilo de que não gostaram, para que possamos reflectir esse feedback na próxima edição.

The LPP Journal will have four issues a year: in March, June, September and December. Each issue will have the best content from the previous quarter, but also unpublished articles and new features that we're preparing for each issue - such as small games and detachables. We'll have a regular Make City, an informal collective that wants to think and make other forms of city, not only in Lisbon but throughout the metropolitan area, helping to broaden the horizons of all of us. We'll have some stories and reports from different parts of Metropolitan Lisbon, in which we'll try to respond to the challenge of representativeness. And in each issue we'll have a great interview to read calmly, underline and save. There will be some news, including a shorts section.

More than a current affairs newspaper, we want the LPP Journal to be a way of socializing an attitude, of generating a conversation, of experiencing the metropolitan area. We also see this newspaper as a form of citizenship, because we believe that information is a powerful tool for building more informed and interconnected communities. That's why we designed this newspaper with higher quality, on good paper and with good printing. This is not a newspaper to read and throw away; it's a newspaper to stand the test of time and remain useful.

As already mentioned, the next issue of the LPP Journal will be out in March. You can go to lisboaparapessoas.pt/journal fazer uma assinatura dos próximos quatro números. Podem também fazer uma subscrição digital, que dará acesso a todo o archive do Jornal e a outros benefícios do LPP. E podem, também nessa página, preencher o questionário para sabermos como melhorar daqui para a frente. Esperemos que gostem do Jornal LPP e que o partilhem com as pessoas de quem mais gostam, ou que o deixem na mesa de um café ou no banco do autocarro para alguém que não conhecem.

Finally, I would like to say a very special thank you to the more than 200 people who, by taking part in the pre-sale campaign, helped to bring this first LPP Journal into existence. Some of those people's names are engraved on the last page, forever.

Thanks and see you soon!