Lunch time and I’ve been reading a lot about newspapers and the demise issue. Here’s Doc Searls.
The bottom line here is that a lot of good people are working on solutions. These solutions are not the same old stuff in new wrappers. They’re original ideas, some of which the papers will have no control over.
He has a lot of interesting suggestions for future models. I would not actually mind paying for quality reporting as the issue of news coverage is critical to knowing what’s happening in “distant but important place” as it’s quality reporting that is at issue for readers and citizens.
I get much of my news from small micro papers published in northern CT. We still get the Hartford Courant, but this will soon end, as the content I read in that paper has been trimmed, its tone is oddly angled, and the paper has very little that can’t be done elsewhere. I’ll miss the paper, but it’s not serving my needs. And the NYT is too much paper for my reading habit. We don’t need “newspapers” but we need excellent journalism.
Journalism is more than The Globe or Courant. It’s also the technical areas we work in: computer science and literature news, reportage on numerous areas of interest. Newspapers, in a sense, are an extending technology–they extend the eye, the ear, and the body of those who want the engagement. We’re grappling with the physicality of information and place. Payment methods are one issue: there’s also the issue of readership.