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Friday, November 26, 2004

Newspapers Should Worry

Adam Penenberg writes in the Wired magazine that Newspapapers may not have any future in the emerging digital world. Excerpts:

Publishers of newspapers and magazines like to corral readers when they're young. If you can shape kids' info-seeking habits when they're in their teens or twenties, so the thinking goes, you'll nab them for life. Because brand loyalty isn't just about offering the best product for the best price, as it is with, say, minivans or socket wrenches. It's also about image: Are you a New York Times guy or a Washington Post aficionado? Do you read The Wall Street Journal, The Economist or Fortune? Do you subscribe to Newsweek or Time? Is Wired more than the way you feel after a double espresso at Starbucks? Your choice says a lot about you.

Young people reload various RSS subscriptions and spends a half-hour reading stories or blogging on their own, "so that people who use one as a content aggregator can get their news fix."As news-reader (programs) improve and become more widely used, adding the sort of auto-filtering and smart-sorting capabilities of a decent e-mail client, their popularity will snowball.It ia also predicted that print media, which the younger generation has largely rejected in favor of digital dissemination of news, will die off within 30 years, "when the dead-tree readers will die off." What this world will look like is anyone's guess, but it probably won't include The Washington Post thudding on anyone's doorstep at 5 in the morning.
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