Friday, October 9, 2009

New York Times looks at the future of newspapers

       For those (oh so many) people out there who say that newspapers are dead, I offer proof not that they'll live forever, but that intelligent newspaper management still lives.  Editor & Publisher reports on the New York Times' Research & Development unit, which is approaching the future the right way -- by looking not only at how news is delivered (paper or digital) but how it's used. 

       I'll give you one example. One morning my wife and I were discussing what we would do if the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel were to go online-only.  Sure, we expect the Wall Street Journal and Times to continue in print, which would give us a nice roundup of what happened the day before, but, my wife asked, "where would I get my sudoku and word games?" Each morning, after reading the news, she take a short break and does all the games in the newspaper (I do the crosswords). I also make sure I read the comics every morning. In short, the way we use the news includes more than just looking at the news. By the way, both my wife and I live on computers, probably putting in from six to 10 hours a day at a minimum. And both of use check multiple news sites throughout the day.

       The good news is that the Times, and other media sources, are looking at the future and fighting back. Can I tell you what the media future will be? Not at all, but I can assure you that there will be one.

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