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Newsprint [Mar. 18th, 2009|11:11 pm]
Yesterday, the Seattle PI printed its last daily edition. It exists now only as a news site on the web, employing only a fraction of its old reporting staff.

A while back, I'd said that I expected newspapers to vanish in the near future. I pegged it at five years, though that was a while ago and it's now about 4.5 remaining. To clarify, I'm thinking about daily printed newspapers, not coupon circulars and free ad gazettes.

It's an interesting battle between the archaic(?) machinery of distributing printed news versus the romanticism surrounding the product. The web is instant, two-way, and low-cost or free. Newspapers, though, represent entrenched journalism and standards that are not widespread on the web (yet). Will our need for established channels let them hang on in the face of superior technology? Will they adapt and evolve, as the Seattle P-I is doing, bringing their journalism ethic to the web and challenging other sites on their own terms?

I'm not anxious to see a demise of newspapers by any means but it's what I see in the cards. Perhaps I'm too cynical and quick to dismiss them... What do you think?

Poll #1367984 Print Newspapers

Most daily print newspapers will be gone...

even sooner!
within the next 4-5 years, yeah.
within the next 5-8 years.
within the next 8-15 years.
much later than you'd expect!

[User Picture]From: captpackrat
2009-03-19 11:14 pm (UTC)
I get a daily newspaper, but it's delivered to my Kindle every morning. That is the future of newspapers, e-paper. Hearst is working on an e-reader of their own, specifically for newspapers.

I love my Kindle newspaper. I get to choose what paper I receive (I can receive the San Jose Mercury News even though I live in rural Nebraska), I don't have to walk out in the snow to pick it up from the end of the driveway and there are no worries about my next door neighbor swiping my paper. I also don't have to tip the paperboy or retrieve the paper from off the roof if I don't tip. And best of all, it's super green; there's no paper or toxic ink to wind up in the landfill.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2009-03-20 04:08 pm (UTC)
Ah, but a Kindle or other reader is also a computer, though specialized. This was one of the things which spurred me to make my original comments: computers are starting to become pervasive enough and varied enough.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2009-03-20 08:51 pm (UTC)
I understand. My point was simply that the role (and availability and portability and forms) of computers in our lives is changing.
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