Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Print News and the Future

One of my blog-o-sphere favorites, Teach Paperless, just posted on Newspapers In The Digital Age. It's an intriguing post about access to online newspaper sites and how they are going to be supported and paid for.

The post boiled down to brainstorming some options for the future to allow access and still be a business with advertisers and subscribers.
The debate about the future of journalism is beyond me. In some respect I can see the urge to charge a subscription fee, though perhaps in exchange any paper going to a subscription-based model should offer free access via public libraries and schools. Otherwise, we're in a situation where only the folks who can afford the paper and/or access can read it. Or maybe subscribers could get the news on release, and then it would be free to the public twelve hours later. I don't know... just brainstorming; come to think of it, that would kinda stink. How about free access to front-page and local/metro news and subscription access to sports, business, real estate, etc.?
I posted a comment on the blog in regards to what MinnPost is doing in Minneapolis. Here's my comment:
Here in the great metro areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul, we have a new venture called MinnPost. It is an entirely online newspaper. No, it's not a newspaper. It's more of a "reporter's outlet."

The staff is made up of reporters and columnist laid off from the two major newspapers in the area. It's fascinating.

Even more fascinating is how they are funding it. They created a "micro-sponsorship" campaign to fund the venture. You can donate $25 and be "high brau" or $15 and be "low brau." It's raised a more than $3000 so far. The are still using traditional advertisers but this is intended to bring in the average person.

This might be the direction that news is heading.

Those are just some of my thoughts.

I do think that the whole delivery model for news is changing. You can see it in the shift from print to online and in the shift from television to online. On the other hand, it's still a baby. I can't imagine where it will be when it grows up. MinnPost might have the right idea or they might just be the next venture to fail.

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