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The Local Paper of the Future?

Posted by: Jon Fine on January 18, 2006

Is this the new local newspaper?

The Caveats: This kind of approach will only in work for readers and citizens of certain towns—affluent, plugged-in, in-on-the-joke. Of course, these towns are also likely to have a serious small-business base, from pricier restaurants to boutiques, that would find such a medium a decent place to spend a few ad dollars.

Still sounds a damn sight more fun than reading local news roundups in The Daily Whatever, though, doesn’t it?

Unless and until the Daily Whatever starts aping the newcomers.

Reader Comments

Stephen Wheeler

January 23, 2006 9:23 AM

Okay, I'm interested, why will the linked approach: "only ... work for readers and citizens of certain towns--affluent, plugged-in, in-on-the-joke"?

The only prerequisites are:
- Access to edge technology;
- Access to the Net; and
- An interest in the World around you.

It seems to me (and, while I'm a prepared to listen to nay-sayers don't expect a sympathetic response) that Net (and edge-of-Net) technology is getting cheaper, and better connected - even (yes, that much overused word) ubiquitous. Cheap cellular access - driven by wireless' natually competitive environment - in particular, seems to me to be particularly democratic and not dependent on affluence.

True, people need to be plugged-in in both senses of the word - and many people struggle either way. Then again, how many citizens struggle to understand their tax forms - never mind the debate over stem-cell research... This is not a Net/Media issue, it is a Education/Media issue. Perhaps you thought labelling some people badly educated was too NPC?

As far the third item goes - perhaps your comment says more about you, Jon, than it does about the rest of us?

Finally - perhaps proving just how far we have to go before even all college graduates are plugged in - what joke?


January 30, 2006 4:53 PM

Five years ago I chucked a 20-year career in daily newspaper with plans to do anything BUT newspaper work. I found an editor slot with a great international trade publication. Monthly deadlines (vs. daily). No 24-hour news cycle. No whining screaming reporters. No prima dona photographer. It's nearly heaven.

I'm not sure newspapers as we know them or even as we envision them now will be viable. The thinking is too archaic within most of the newspaper ownership companies existing today. Too many of their upper level management remember those good old days of 22 percent net net profit annually. They're trying to relive the past instead of creating the future.

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The media world continues to shapeshift as new forms arise and old assumptions erode. On this blog, Bloomberg Businessweek will provide sharp analysis and timely reports on the transformation of this constantly changing terrain.



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