Can The Kindle (or other readers) Save American Journalism?

extraHot on the news of the release of the Amazon Kindle 2 came word that Hearst Corp was going to release an electronic reader of its own. Devices that use the digital e-Ink displays seem to pop up every day or so as does the bad news of another newspaper suffering or falling into bankruptcy. In the wake of all of that, PCWorld has an interesting post in which David Coursey suggests that electronic readers might be worthy of a little boost from some of those stimulus funds that are coming out of our back pockets these days. His context is interesting because not only are there concerns about losing a local newspaper but the effect this climate is having on journalism in general.

Here’s a quote from the PCWorld post:


There is already an immediate precedent for helping media companies make the jump from analog to digital technology–all those $40 digital TV converter box vouchers that have been issued. Why shouldn’t paper publishing likewise get some assistance through a technology transition?

Given that we’ve seen that it would be cheaper for the NY Times to give all of its subscribers a Kindle than to continue to print and deliver the paper, he might be onto something.

Forgetting the economics of the issue for the moment, here a couple of questions for you.

  1. Do you still consume news via print or are you doing so digitally? State a percentage of how you do this if you do both.
  2. If companies like Hearst Corp or the NY Times provided you with an electronic reader would you be up for that kind of transition?
  3. How much would you be willing to pay to get your morning paper (or other daily news sources) via an electronic reader?

Sound off in the comments.