Sunday, April 05, 2009

Two good items on the future of newspapers

How to Save your Newspaper

Isaacson wants newspapers to figure out how to charge for their content.

That seems like a pipe dream today, but who knows about tomorrow? Television was once free, but now the average American spends hundreds of dollars each year for his cable or satellite subscription.

Not too long ago it seemed inconceivable that a grocery stores would accept credit cards. Now, using cash and checks seems hopelessly backward.

A payment system that is less expensive than a subscription could do wonders for newspapers and their bottom line.

Editors as Curators: What's Taking So Long?

With all the resources of the Internet at their fingertips, editors should be able to use their expertise on a subject or geography to sift through multiple sources of news and information and use links and other tools to assemble a comprehensive, edited collection of information for their readers.

The buzzword for that is "aggregation." And the big surprise is that it doesn't seem to be happening at most mainstream news Web sites. Instead, newspaper and TV sites still generally are trapped in their walled gardens, putting together their daily reports only from the sources they pay for: their own reporters, maybe some wire and syndicated copy and photos, and that's about it

It's a really smart idea/model. Can the culture of the newsroom support it? Or does a version of the Not Invented (Created) Here syndrome work against it?

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