Friday, August 24, 2007

Newspapers and Magazines...Paper or Electron?

In a recent article for the National Journal, William Powers discusses his thoughts on the current state of the "newspaper crisis." Are they here to stay or are they going the way of the dinosaur and the Stanley Steamer automobile. In the article, Powers briefly addresses the concerns of the newspaper fan and the newspaper employee and points out that:

Up-to-date information is the coin of the realm, and it's rare to meet a successful person who doesn't follow the news. They may not get it from the hard-copy newspaper, but most online news originates in traditional newspapers and newspaper-related organs such as the Associated Press. In other words, the basic product the papers produce still helps the fittest to thrive.


It might seem that Powers is waxing Pollyanna on us, but I don't think so. News is a commodity in the "information age" and will be for time to come. Whether that news is about sports, business transactions, or Lindsay Lohan doesn't matter. People want information.

But does that mean that they want to read the news on "paper?"

Eyewitness television news didn't kill paper, what about the internets?

Powers doesn't answer this question in his piece, though I expect he'll be writing about the future of paper as a medium soon, but he does mention that Rupert Murdoch is fighting to purchase the Wall Street Journal (one of the nation's leading bird cage fillers).

Powers seems to be hinting that paper may not be dead as paper, but then what does Powers think about the following?

Premiere magazine, which had a circulation of over 500,000, is now purely digital and has featured our friend David Chute.

Disney will cease publication of its 1,000,000 circulation strong Disney Adventures.

And while the Journal is a leader in print, it also has one of the best web interfaces of any news publication.

Which direction is the news going?

Will Mark Cuban's comments regarding bandwidth capabilities have any effect? In other words, do we need paper because we will lack bandwidth?
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