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Nicodemus

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Newspapers [May. 27th, 2010|09:43 am]
Nicodemus
From any vantage point, you can see both the past and the future.

Murdoch's UK papers going behind paywall - Rupert Murdoch doesn't want his articles to be indexed by Google. They're going to be behind a paywall and unindexed, effectively disconnecting them from the Web. (Expect lots of whining when this doesn't work and political maneuvering about how Google and the BBC are "killing the industry".)

LG Develops Flexible ePaper - They've managed to make something that approximates a black and white broadsheet newspaper. Nice. It'll be a few years to get this out of R&D labs and into useful products but then we should see some cool tricks with printable surfaces. (Insert "Minority Report" citation here.)




A while back, I predicted that printed daily newspapers would be effectively gone in 5 years. Now at about 3.3 years remaining in my estimate. We shall see.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: orv
2010-05-27 07:41 pm (UTC)
I really, really like the idea of ePaper-based displays. I've been waiting for the prices of e-reader devices with that display type to come down to reasonable levels, because I find reading long texts on a backlit display to be kind of unpleasant.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2010-05-27 10:26 pm (UTC)
I wholeheartedly agree. I like the Kindle but haven't got one just yet... I'm kinda interested to see where the next rev/jump is going to lead.
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[User Picture]From: shockwave77598
2010-05-27 08:07 pm (UTC)
If the newspapers arrange a way to upload the entire paper to one of these devices daily (for a small fee) then they are saved!
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2010-05-27 10:25 pm (UTC)
Indeed. I think that's the way to go, really. Note that I only predicted that we'd see print newspapers vanishing. :)
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[User Picture]From: marko_the_rat
2010-05-27 09:11 pm (UTC)
I'm not so sure. I've heard these confident predictions before. I do agree that printed daily newspapers as we understand them will die off in our lifetimes, but I think it will take more than 3.3 or even 5 years. 10 years on the outside maybe, but I think more likely 15-20 years for the whole of the western industrialised world. As for the impact this will have on democracy, that's a harder question. Newspapers need to get their money from somewhere and apparently web advertising just isn't cutting it. Newspapers were traditionally the home of investigative journalism, which we need in a healthy democracy to keep our governments honest. There has been a dearth of investigative journalism, the most recent example in Australia being a state government minister who got caught going into a gay sex club after hours--more tabloid peeping tom journalism than investigative. If this is the best we can hope for than I foresee dark days ahead. Will iPads and the many "iPad killers" that will come out this year save them? We'll see, but so far I'm skeptical--why pay to read the paper in an app when you can just read them for free in the browser?
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[User Picture]From: marko_the_rat
2010-05-27 09:56 pm (UTC)
I do consider it legitimate for a politician to be outed as gay if he's made a career out of demonising homosexuality. Likewise any other aspect of their personal life if it exposes egregious hypocrisy or conflict of interest, but this does not seem to be the case here.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2010-05-27 10:31 pm (UTC)
"why pay to read the paper in an app when you can just read them for free in the browser?"

Why are the "papers" not giving us something worth paying for?

Believe me, I'm not rooting for the death of investigative journalism. My prediction is just the demise of printed dailies.

In fact, I'd love to see a rebound and really get much more creative and critical journalism out there. I just don't think that these organizations have found the delivery mechanism(s) and financial model that will work after this sea change we're experiencing. I believe (and hope) that there will be viable models, though.
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[User Picture]From: marko_the_rat
2010-05-27 11:37 pm (UTC)
The rise of the internet promised with it the rise of citizens' journalism. To some extent that promise has been fulfilled, but there's the kind of hard slog and sleuth work that citizens can't do, and which sadly newspapers no longer seem inclined to pay for. I can't see that any of these new models will change that, though I'd love to proven wrong. The problem may not be with the models of distribution, but with the tastes of the general public and the drive of any private corporation to maximise profits. (I think I'm starting to sound like a communist here, which is not my intention either.) Ironically, the best source for investigative journalism in Australia (unless you're more interested in outing gay politicians) is the government-owned ABC, but I'm very conscious that they're dependent on the government for funding so it doesn't pay to be too critical.
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2010-05-27 11:52 pm (UTC)
"I can't see that any of these new models will change that, though I'd love to proven wrong."

Same for me. I want to see true investigative journalism and a critical voice return but I'm not sure how that might happen or what model will work. I don't claim to have an answer. (Unfortunately.)
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[User Picture]From: loranskunky
2010-05-28 02:36 pm (UTC)
I'm keeping an eye on ePaper and eInk technology for years now. With the Nook and Kindle being very popular, it's only a matter of time before some company will figure out some cheap way of making the screen, as the screen is the biggest cost right now. Once they figure that out and get things down below $50, it's going to be interesting.

Did you see what Wired did for their iPad magazine btw? Yes, the app is 500megs and it's just huge images (no HTML5 ?), but it's an interesting start to say the least.
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[User Picture]From: brandywine93
2010-05-28 06:31 pm (UTC)
If LG can create something like that - which can be folded in half - therefore better simulating the "newspaper" experience... I think the newspaper industry will be saved. Plus I'd be curious to see what other forms of media and knowledge sharing would be able to leverage such a device.

pretty darn cool!
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