Tag Archives: copenhagen

#cop15: Fifty-six newspapers run Guardian’s climate change editorial

“Today 56 newspapers in 45 countries take the unprecedented step of speaking with one voice through a common editorial. We do so because humanity faces a profound emergency,” opened the editorial in newspapers across the world this morning.

It was an effort co-ordinated by the Guardian marking the beginning of the climate summit in Copenhagen. Participating titles include two Chinese papers, India’s The Hindu, Le Monde, El Pais, Russia’s Novaya Gazeta and the Toronto Star.

Newspapers have never done anything like this before but they have never had to cover a story like this before,” said Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of the Guardian. “No individual newspaper editorial could hope to influence the outcome of Copenhagen but I hope the combined voice of 56 major papers speaking in 20 languages will remind the politicians and negotiators gathering there what is at stake – and persuade them to rise above the rivalries and inflexibility that have stood in the way of a deal.”

The editorial states:

“Unless we combine to take decisive action, climate change will ravage our planet, and with it our prosperity and security. The dangers have been becoming apparent for a generation. Now the facts have started to speak: 11 of the past 14 years have been the warmest on record, the Arctic ice-cap is melting and last year’s inflamed oil and food prices provide a foretaste of future havoc. In scientific journals the question is no longer whether humans are to blame, but how little time we have got left to limit the damage. Yet so far the world’s response has been feeble and half-hearted.”

EnvironmentGuardian.co.uk’s makeover

A new look for  Guardian.co.uk’s environment pages was unveiled today, with the promise of more editorial content from its six correspondents.

“The Guardian has built this unrivalled team in the belief that environmental issues, and in particular global warming, is the defining issue of our age, combining politics, economics and social justice,” said James Randerson, editor of EnvironmentGuardian.co.uk, in a release from Guardian News & Media.

“We hope that all of the new features on the site – together with the enthusiastic participation of our visitors – will serve as an invaluable resource for anyone wanting to understand the context behind the headlines.”

Expert correspondents now include one in Washington DC, one in China and one dedicated to green technology, the release said.

Also announced:

  • A new video series featuring the Observer columnist Lucy Siegle
  • To mark the UN climate talks in Copenhagen in December, the foreign secretary David Miliband will answer users’ questions in a live online Q&A at lunchtime on Tuesday (September 8, 2009) – time to be confirmed.

Randerson is asking for user feedback at this link.

Online Journalism Scandinavia: Mecom’s Danish arm may ditch costly CMS for Drupal

Berlingske Media, Denmark’s biggest publisher of daily newspapers, is considering making free open source software Drupal its online publishing system of choice.

Former Mirror-boss David Montgomery’s Danish lieutenant, Lisbeth Knudsen, is contemplating the move, which could save a substantial sum of money – but it does not come without risk.

Berlingske Media already runs some of its sites on Drupal – a long-time favourite free content management system (CMS) of web hacker-geeks – but many consider the open source solution more vulnerable to hackers than proprietary systems.

“Our sports portal, launched early in June, is developed in Drupal, and we will use this for more sites. We are in the process of evaluating future online solutions, and will make a decision on this later this year. So far we have chosen Drupal for some of our smaller sites and Saxotech online for the bigger,” Knudsen told me.

But is Drupal up to the task?

The Danish newspaper publisher is in the process of integrating all its titles into ‘verticals’ that deliver copy across platforms and titles, and its sports site carries material from several of Berlingske’s titles.

Henning Sund, head of digital development for newspaper publisher Edda Media, is sceptical about how well Drupal is suited to such large-scale projects.

”I think part of the reason Berlingske Media is considering Drupal is that they are so desperate to get away from Saxotech Online. That is a desire I understand perfectly,” he said, explaining that Edda Media, Mecom’s Norwegian division, is also in the process of replacing Saxotech Online, but Drupal is not a candidate.

”I do not feel the security in Drupal is well-documented enough. We want a provider that can take responsibility for this, something we will not get with Drupal,” said Sund, adding that you also have to spend a lot of money on developing the desired functionality in Drupal, as it is not ‘plug and play’.

Berlingske-owned AOK.dk, a city guide for Copenhagen that runs on Drupal, has used an east European company to develop extra functionality in Drupal – a concept that has been exported to Berlin and Mecom Germany.

However, Sund does not think that Mecom boss Montgomery will impose Drupal as the standard CMS throughout the company should it be a success:

“Montgomery has made it very clear that as long as you reach your budget targets, you can choose the solutions you see fit. However, if you do not reach these targets, you will get Montgomery breathing down your neck, and that is something you would do anything to avoid.”

For more news on newspapers harnessing open source read about The Jewish Chronicle’s launch of a beta site using Drupal.