Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The newspaper of tomorrow

I admit I've got a bit of an extreme interest in how newspapers continue to evolve in this era of new media. I've written about this on a number of occasions (see here and here) and I suppose a part of me will always be tracking this issue. I am, after all, professionally selfish: if I fail to understand how newspapers are changing, I may eventually find myself out of work.

Ouch.

Monday's Toronto Star had a couple of companion pieces on the topic:
Both pieces do an effective job in adding to the ongoing discussion. The evolution of newspapers looks like a necessarily long-term process, so I'll continue to share links and thoughts in this space as I come across them. I hope you'll do the same.

Your turn: Is the so-called electronic newspaper a mere pipe dream? What's the one thing that you think newspapers must do to survive?

9 comments:

Steph said...

I must admit, I subscribe to the LA Times and the NY Times on-line and I prefer it to reading a newspaper. I realize I'm missing a lot of content, but I could get to it if I were actually interested.
On the other hand, I'm cheap by nature and still buy a physical Sunday paper to get the grocery store coupons out of. It's only a buck and I save a ton of money, so I would be disapointed if that ever went away, too.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I use toget The New York Times delivered every day, seven days a week...but found I didn't read very much except the Arts and Theatre section and occassionaly Op Ed pieces..it was just too daunting and I was too busy somehow. And, it was terribly expensive...So, I gave it up and discovered I could read the NY Times on the net! WOW! What a wonderful gift..Nowm actually I read much moreof the paper now than I did back when the 'hard copy' was arriving eaxh day...I would never have thought that possible, but I was wrong....Recently, as you probably know Carmi, the NY Times began something called Times Select..of course I opted to get it because I did NOT want to miss the OP Ed pieces of Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich and Bob Herbert, to name a few..it is worth the (first year special) of $39. a year...a lot less than I had to pay for the delivery, I'll tell you....I am thrilled to be able to get the paper this way and hope that doesn't change for the worse, ever!

Aginoth said...

With the advent of thin film screen technology, and the advances towards cheap electronic paper, I think it'll be too long before the masses are able to take their newspapers electronically.

BTW I read The Guardian (UK paper) online everyday, plus my main news soure is BBC News Online, I only buy a newspaper physically now about once every 2 months.

Suzanne said...

there are still plenty of folks out there who like to sit down with the paper and a good cup of coffee. There's also a ton of people, surprisingly, who are not internet savy so I don't think it will go completely out of the picture. Personally, I prefer talk radio or the internet for my news, because i'm not fond of the black ink that gets all over my hands from a newspaper.
what...I can't help it if i'm a princess?

December said...

I think it is obvious that one day, every paper will have their news online, but I don't think that physical papers will ever die out. My dad is the publisher/editor of our towns local newspaper, and he put a few sections online, but go no response. So I think that it isn't whether the papers will be online, it's will the masses choose to read it online?

Obviously, the younger generations are quite comfortable reading online, but the town I live in is made up of most people ages 50+, most of whom cannot manage to even turn on a computer.

In the near future I see all papers being avaible online, but I don't see any major newspaper never going to print.

Tammy said...

I frequently read news online. But sometimes I just want to sit down with a real paper, and the online version just isn't the same. Of course, I'm from a generation when there was no electronic news (at least when I was younger). How my children feel about this remains to be seen. But as I'm a reading fanatic (I have books everywhere), I hope that some of the desire for having something real that you can hold in your hands rubs off on them.

Easy said...

I'm more inclined to use the electronic version, but my beef is that there's too much emphasis on the op-ed and not enough on factual reporting.

The news media are businesses first and foremost, which makes them suspect in my mind. Too often it has been my experience that a reporter has already decided on their story, and are mainly interested in getting some quotes to juice it up.

I have been a part of many events that were reported on in the papers, and have yet to see more than %50 of the facts correct.

What I want to see are the facts so that I can draw my own conclusions.

Plain Jane said...

I actually haven't picked up a physical newspaper in years. When I do drag myself into that arena of information, I tend to get it online.

I think for the "news" to continue suriviving, it's got to be available in every medium possible - including podcasts.

Sandy said...

Ahh, interesting question. So, here's my conumdrum. I prefer reading print news. I like that it's portable and I'm too cheap/broke/lazy to spring for some wireless contraption that shuttles news to me on my cell phone or what have you. Yet I rarely read print papers any more because by the time I get to sit and read them without a child climbing on them/me it's all old news.

Instead I tend to get my news from a few broadcast related web sites and radio when I have the cycles to do so.

I don't really like it through. I find I skim more, ingest less. If that makes any sense.

Way back (ok not that way back) when I first entered college my dream was to be a journalist that worked into a political beat. Then I dabbled in newspaper reporting and found town-meetings bored me to tears. Those days did leave me with a strange love-hate relationship with paper.

To survive, I think print media needs to do what many are doing - offer up both. Who knows if it's working, but at this point in my little day it's the best I can wrap my head around.