Has the online “newspaper” got a future?

Jeff Jarvis (buzzmachine.com), always a canny commentator on media matters,  writing in today’s Media section of The Guardian, is none too convinced the current proposals by  News Corp, Hearst and other publishers to get us pay for the online content of newspapers, once it can be delivered to us in forms that are close to the print versions of those papers, will work.  

They hope that when electronic news reminds us of print news – that is, when editors can once more package the world for us – we’ll again be loyal to and perhaps pay for their work and brands.

Jarvis does not think that is possible to return to the good old days “when editors can once more package the world for us – we’ll again be loyal to and perhaps pay for their work and brands”.

Portable reading devices were described as offering “a glimmer of hope for the embattled industry” in these pages last week. Having spent the past two months reading two newspapers – the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal – primarily on my Amazon Kindle, I’d say that glimmer is dim.

………………….

I will still read news on gadgets, of course. The New York Times has a brilliant iPhone app that is constantly updated and ad-subsidised and free (as I wish the Kindle were). The Times also has a new version of its PC reader that more closely mimics the experience of reading the paper; it’s appealing.

But in news, neither the device nor the form matters nearly as much as the information and its timing. This requires that publishers unleash their news on every device possible. But no single gadget will be their saviour. None will bring back the good old days – if they were that – of news and the world delivered in neat little packages we paid for.

What Jarvis does not say is that many in thein their mid thirties and under have never had the news in the “neat little packages” he describes.

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: