October 10, 2005

DATA'S EASY, TACTILE IS HARD (via The Mother Judd):

Forget Blogs, Print Needs Its Own IPod (David Carr, 10/10/05, NY Times)

SOMETIMES what appears to be a threat is actually a life preserver.

The poor defenseless music industry cowered - then prosecuted - when the monster of digital downloads came lurching over the horizon. Then the iPod came along and music looks like a business again - a smaller business, eked out in 99- cent units - but still a business.

Cable channels were supposed to gut network television, but instead have become a place where shows like "Seinfeld" and "Law and Order" are resold and rewatched. The movie industry reacted to DVD's as though they were a sign of the imminent apocalypse, and now studios are using their libraries to churn profits.

Which brings us to the last of the great analog technologies, the one many of you are using right now.

The newspaper business is in a horrible state. It's not that papers don't make money. They make plenty. But not many people, or at least not many on Wall Street, see a future in them. In an attempt to leave the forest of dead trees and reach the high plains of digital media, every paper in the country is struggling mightily to digitize its content with Web sites, blogs, video and podcasts.

And they are half right. Putting print on the grid is a necessity, because the grid is where America lives. But what the newspaper industry really needs is an iPod moment.


Make a display that feels and reads like paper and world will beat a path to your door.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 10, 2005 12:28 PM
Comments

Electronic ink and paper.

Posted by: Gideon at October 10, 2005 1:15 PM

oj,

Always listen to your Mom. A front page and a listing of what's inside ala NYT would do much to accustom folks to paying for online content. At this point the only pubs who get this is WaStJo and Drudge.

Ed

Posted by: Ed Bush at October 10, 2005 3:40 PM

Blame the technology. Look at the substance of the product. How much left-wing propaganda do they expect us to buy. Produce a paper that has a modicum of objectivity and truth and is pro-American and not afflicted by BDS, and you maybe be able to make it grow.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 10, 2005 3:41 PM

Also, it's a question of matching expenses to income.

In Colorado Springs, the free, very left-y weekly alternative paper, which depends entirely on ads for revenue, and has no highly paid ink-slingers, recently bought the traditional daily paper :

[I]t is believed to be the first [time that] a city's daily, corporate-owned newspaper will be acquired by an independent weekly newspaper.

And this is in a pretty conservative town, with FOUR major military installations, and the headquarters of Focus on the Family.

Given the left-wing take on outsourcing and globalization, ironically:

Independent owner and publisher John Weiss announced the merger [...] from Southeast Asia, where he is investigating the possibilities for outsourcing Gazette newsroom labor.

"India is leading the pack so far," Weiss said. "I am thoroughly impressed by the quality of offshore labor; the journalists here are far more qualified to produce a Colorado Springs daily newspaper than those whose work I've read back home -- and at roughly 42 percent of the current cost in labor."

The Independent will remain locally focused and locally produced, Weiss said.

Maybe the NYTimes should take a page from the Independent, and produce and edit from Afghanistan, say.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 11, 2005 2:50 AM

Also, it's a question of matching expenses to income.

In Colorado Springs, the free, very left-y weekly alternative paper, which depends entirely on ads for revenue, and has no highly paid ink-slingers, recently bought the traditional daily paper :

[I]t is believed to be the first [time that] a city's daily, corporate-owned newspaper will be acquired by an independent weekly newspaper.

And this is in a pretty conservative town, with FOUR major military installations, and the headquarters of Focus on the Family.

Given the left-wing take on outsourcing and globalization, ironically:

Independent owner and publisher John Weiss announced the merger [...] from Southeast Asia, where he is investigating the possibilities for outsourcing Gazette newsroom labor.

"India is leading the pack so far," Weiss said. "I am thoroughly impressed by the quality of offshore labor; the journalists here are far more qualified to produce a Colorado Springs daily newspaper than those whose work I've read back home -- and at roughly 42 percent of the current cost in labor."

The Independent will remain locally focused and locally produced, Weiss said.

Maybe the NYTimes should take a page from the Independent, and produce and edit from Afghanistan, say.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 11, 2005 2:51 AM

Michael: I live in the Springs and I had no idea that was happening. Shows you how in touch I am.

Posted by: joe shropshire at October 11, 2005 5:16 PM
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