Music News South Africa

The cross-media way of building and maintaining communities

DARMSTADT, GERMANY: Thirty-six publishers from 18 countries have entered a total of 50 projects for the Ifra XMA Cross Media Awards 2007. The focus this time is on cross-media projects in “Building and Maintaining Communities”.

Compared to 2006, this year more projects have been submitted by large newspapers with a daily circulation above 250 000 copies. The categories of the awards are small newspapers (circulation: <100 000 copies), mid-sized newspapers (100 000 – 250 000) and large newspapers (>250 000).

The 2007 participants come from the following countries: Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and UK.


Comments Michael Heipel, Ifra XMA project manager, “Currently, the larger newspapers experiment with building communities. The smaller newspapers seem to be still hesitant, although the issue is something that publishers of all sizes are dealing with currently. You could feel the enthusiasm of the publishers who have already started their community projects. A lot of them entered more than one project.”

Concerning the several topics, Heipel explains: “The range of topics of the newspaper communities is vast, and the creativity of publishers is absolutely amazing. Just to mention some of the topics: environmental issues, citizen journalism projects and reader/user integration, community of language enthusiasts, women at work, public debate forums, sub-communities in “Second Life”, video-portals, fitness and wellness, travel communities in general or for specific countries (eg Australia), science and research, online auctions, youth portals, pet-owners, young musicians and artists, weblogs, SMS votings, election of the best local hairdresser salon, election of the cutest baby, lots of community photo portals and much, much more!”

The online presentation of all XMA projects started on 16 July 2007 and all 50 projects from the 36 publishers can be viewed at


Currently, the international jury of Ifra XMA is in the process of examining all entries. The main requirement to win the XMA Awards lies on the clever combination of print and digital media and making use of the specific advantages of each medium. Also, the implementation of technology to facilitate the project is examined.

At IfraExpo in Vienna, a special exhibit area in the foyer at Reed Messe features the XMA winners, participants and sponsors. Ifra will also offer a special publication (XMA Winnerbook) and an ePaper about the XMA winners. During the IfraExpo Get together on 8 October, the awards will be officially handed over to the winners.

The Ifra XMA Cross Media Awards 2007 are sponsored by Atex and Protec and supported by EidosMedia, Escenic and Polopoly. Media partners are Ifra newspaper techniques and Horizont.

The IfraExpo will take place for the first time in Vienna 8 – 11 October 2007 ( Visitors to the “The annual event of the newspaper industry” – including the XMA show – can register online and use the benefits of this pre-registration at

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