Lebanon's oldest French-language newspaper, L'Orient-Le Jour, launched its new-look print edition on 3 April. The paper's aim is to create a more reader-focused editorial design.
The layout of L'Orient-Le Jour's daily print edition was old-fashioned and out of date. It occupied virtually all the editorial team, leaving them unable to expand their output online. Since late 2016, the publishers have been working on a redesign of the printed version of the paper, in order to both improve editorial content and devote more time and resources to producing content for the online edition.
The new layout is built around a modular design with predetermined page layouts. Each article now has a predefined (shorter) line count and there are fixed positions for headlines, photos and advertising. The Monday to Friday editions will appear in a 35 cm format, with a shift from 16 pages in a six-column layout to 12 pages of eight columns each.
Saturday's paper will remain at 16 pages, plus a magazine.
Michel Touma, joint editor-in-chief of the local news pages, says, "We will be focusing the majority of our effort and resources on the explanation and analysis of events. As a result, we will get right to the heart of the news. At the same time, we intend to expand the number of social and recreational features."
Since October 2016, CFI's Orient Numérique (Digital East) project has been helping the L'Orient-Le Jour publishing group to adapt to modern financial and technical realities. The work has three main objectives: boosting the group's ability to monetise access to specific content and platforms, developing the online and printed editions, and defining a social media strategy.
The next stage in the project will be to brainstorm the opportunities for editorial synergy between print and online while preserving the identity of L'Orient-Le Jour, which promotes the values of the global francophone community and contributes to press freedom in the Arab world.