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an idea for saving (or adapting) print media

If you're reading this, you're part of the "problem" - well, kind of. The problem here is that traditional media outlets like print newspapers, cable news programs, and other "captive audience" forms of media publications are suffering because the accessibility of information has changed. In recent public spats between Google and The New York Times over an argument about paying for all access to this media (or rather the costs of creating it). Of course this problem is also linked to the failure of traditional advertising schemes and or the equivalent of these advertising misses on television with TiVO and MythTV (DVR) based solutions.

Looking at print media specifically and one of the ways that I interface with news, several audio reports about adaptations of papers for ultra-local blogs and the criticisms of structural mismanagement. While these criticisms are logically well-thought, they mostly refer to problems in the past, not solutions to the future (excuse my temporary exclusion of hyper-local reporting). So, one simple idea is to look to one on a traditional cliche and heed its advice: "if you can't beat them, join 'em" -- cue web spam here, here, and even here.

So here it is: express the charge of modern reporters through modern media. Feel free to grab the PNG or PDF, just give me a shout or link back if you do.

idea for saving publications
  • This proposal uses a number of online opportunities to involve users (i.e. readers), opportunistically delay search engines from being the end-all aggregators, and increasing exposure of "user-important" content within a publication.
  • Of course, it also moves in the direction of facilitating the online printing and release of all publications -- the key difference is to get people interested in an investigative topic early and keep them interested by valuing their suggestions and commentary.
  • While changes proposed with this form of publication will require some changes (i.e. releasing preliminary materials, gathering more A/V source material and releasing it), these changes will be welcoming in the aggregation and processing of media that is in store for us in the future.
  • Also, assuming the burden of information management can be removed from the technical staff at a publication (i.e. the back-office can be pushed to online databases and data management clouds), then costs for the production,  development, and even psychological exposure of new articles can be reduced. Simultaneously, financial support will stay where it's needed: with the journalists, writers, and editors.
  • Public edification and education should really be the target of any publication.  In academic environments, there is now a strong push for open access of publications.  While this market is still going strong (recessions can not effect the need for cutting-edge, peer-reviewed research applications), the online availability of content and needs of those without infinite financial support will erode the sometimes excessive fees of classic journal and conference publications (both to have something printed and to read something you had printed).

Update:

Recently, another article was published and commented on at slashdot that suggests the binding news and entertainment more closely.  This is another example embracing new-media that may push traditional media into the hands of a new audience.  Of course, all of these changes need to be considered in an even-handed manner to avoid the shortfalls of the popular critique of blog-reporters versus traditional reporters.

"As traditional news media struggles to find a new method and business model for dissemination over the internet, some are suggesting that news-related games could be an avenue worth pursuing. Rather than using such games solely as entertainment, journalists could make some of their reports more educative and interactive, allowing readers to choose which threads of a story they would like to follow. Georgia Tech is currently running a research blog to better understand how games and journalism can interact."

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