Jason Pontin of Technology Review has an interesting blueprint for saving the newspaper. The article is a refreshing counter-point to Clay Shirkey’s admonishment, “Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable,” that newspapers aren’t worth saving.
Here, Pontin, draws the distinction between the newspaper as print object and journalism. It’s a distinction that has often gone overlooked by many proclaiming newspapers are dead. The tangible print aspect and old business model of newspapers are certainly dead; however, the blood of the paper – journalist and reporting – will never stop flowing.
Pontin does an excellent job factoring in the three facets of the industry: content, advertising, delivery platforms.
5. The most important publishing platform of the future will probably be lightweight, thin, flexible screens that use electronic ink. That’s because the editorial distributed to such screens will be as interactive as that on today’s websites yet retain the fonts, graphical design, and illustrations and photographs of traditional media (a wonderfully rich visual grammar that art directors labored over for centuries). But publishers must not become fixated on platforms; they must regard them as mere distribution channels favoring different kinds of content. Again, publishers should offer their readers as much choice as is reasonable. Over the next decade, they should distribute editorial content to personal computers over today’s Web, to small devices like the iPhone, to larger devices like Amazon’s Kindle, to electronic-ink devices as they emerge, and to print publications (at least for a little longer).
The industry doesn’t need major readjustments, as some would think, but often is the case that it just needs fine tuning and vision. Pontin is rational and practical in his manifesto, something that those shouting “print is dead, print is dead” do not fully grasp. [via @vanityfairer]