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

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.

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6 Comments

  1. Sumocat

    03/02/2009 at 9:00 am

    Digital, but my wife subscribes to the Sunday WaPo. I try to read with her, but I find paper too restrictive. No zoom, no scrolling, no links, no way to search for more info. I’m too accustomed to the freedom of the web.

    Reply

  2. quirkyalone

    03/02/2009 at 9:08 am

    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.

    10% print, 90% online.

    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?

    No. I would prefer to buy the device myself and be independent of any Corp.

    3. How much would you be willing to pay to get your morning paper (or other daily news sources) via an electronic reader?

    $0. No, really, I prefer the electronic reader which I can use to browse web and visit more than one source. I watch 3 mainstream media and several blogs. I am not interested in subscribing to any one newspaper.

    Reply

  3. serchend

    03/02/2009 at 9:59 am

    # 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.
    I have transitioned from getting the paper daily to just getting the weekend edition. I like to read the paper there is just no time in most evenings to read the daily paper and the form factor is not convenient to take with me during the day. so i would say 30% print 70% digital.

    # If companies like Hearst Corp or the NY Times provided you with an electronic reader would you be up for that kind of transition?
    I think publishing industry needs to come up with a standard format reader, i do not want to be carrying more devices around. I already use Zinio for magazines and I use the MS lit format for fiction books, right now I use a tabletpc for both, if they made a reader device that could take plugins for the various copy protection schemes that would be great.

    # How much would you be willing to pay to get your morning paper (or other daily news sources) via an electronic reader?
    I would pay no more than the current subscription rates for physical media.

    Reply

  4. TateJ

    03/02/2009 at 10:15 am

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

    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.

    Both. But my prefernce is digital. I pick up a paper if it is convenient. ie The hotel gives me a copy or I get afree paper while getting onthe train, etc.

    If companies like Hearst Corp or the NY Times provided you with an electronic reader would you be up for that kind of transition?

    Yes. I’d do it in a heart beat. If I am locked into one paper, the reader would have to be free. if i could supscribe to seveal papers and magazines, I’d pay up to a $150.00 for the reader. i would prefer that the newspapers and magazines are produced in a format that would be compatable with my exisiting ebook reader ( a bebook).

    How much would you be willing to pay to get your morning paper (or other daily news sources) via an electronic reader?

    Same price as the print subscription and not a penny more.

    Reply

  5. Steve S

    03/02/2009 at 2:22 pm

    Call me wacky, but I think the issue isn’t about e-reader vs. paper copy at all; I think it’s about whether people WANT the type of reporting that today’s newspapers and magazines provide, or not. If they do, then consumers will take it in whatever form it is offered; if they don’t, then it doesn’t matter what format it’s offered in, no one’s going to buy it.

    Speaking only for myself, there are certain magazines and newspapers that I will not buy, primarily because of lack of balanced reporting. I especially avoid news products that try to push a specific point of view; just give me the facts and I’m perfectly competent to make up my own mind, thanks.

    Reply

  6. Philip Seyfi

    03/03/2009 at 4:54 am

    1. 0% print, 100% online
    2. No, I prefer to choose and buy a device myself.
    3. 0$ with some exceptions.

    Reply

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