Applesauce Sandwiches

Like regular sandwiches…but soggier.

Newspaper Jesus Died For Your Apps.

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It hasn’t happened yet, but the tablet is going to save journalism. The endless speculation on the subject seems silly. Tablets are the next logical step; these things simply take time. No one is going to stop consuming news.

Print products are going to disintegrate into niche publications. People will always pay for their Cat Fancy magazine and subscribe to The New Yorker for the art. Literary publications will persist in some capacity, too. But news, specifically general news, will be nearly entirely digitized.

What will happen? The digital product will, in a short period of time (as the market becomes saturated with tablets and prices lower- Microsoft will be swarming it with a line of tablets in October) begin to cannibalize the print product like never before. The subscribers are there.

Last year Rupert Murdoch made headlines by producing the first tablet-only daily. It’s been floundering, reaching only 120,000 of the 500,000 readers it needs to stay afloat. Was it a bad decision? I don’t think so. Murdoch is a gambler, and I think he was a visionary in this respect. Unlike NewsCorp’s acquisition of Myspace, which is dead in the water, most people have yet to buy a tablet device. They’re waiting for devices to come down in price but increase in functionality. Reports from Japan indicate that Apple may be releasing a “mini ipad” in the third quarter to combat devices like Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble’s Nook Tablet. That would seriously change the game.

Either way, tablets are going to be the main way we consume our news (right besides cellphones and the desktop browser). This has to be embraced, and newsrooms should begin a slow transition over to 100% digital. Lessen the print team little by little, winnowing them down until it’s a thing of the past. It’s inevitable. Embrace it.

As David Bowie might put it: “Turn and face the strain” (Ch-ch-changes).


Written by kolchak

April 17, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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