Ok, I saw this site called the Newspaper Project, and it had me thinking of the future of printed news media. I’ve said it before, and I’m always a progressive thinker, thinking ahead into the future. Here’s how I think traditional paper companies should deal with the decline in people preferring newsprint if they want to survive into the future:
1. Do more LOCAL news coverage – National news is almost everywhere. I can see it on the web, TV networks, news tickers, through friends, etc. What I do want to have more coverage on is local news. Sometimes, newspapers forget that there is local news worth covering. Local news really brings a community or city together, especially if someone you know or something you are a part of is mentioned. Special interest pieces on people that come through tips, or neat little places that a lot of people may not know about and are interested in. That’s the kind of news I think most people want to see more of.
2. Publish news on the web and offer eBook subscriptions – Having a website is pretty vital to success today, as we use technology more often. Have a nicely designed websites that not just publishes news articles, but also offers more pictures and video coverage, weekly podcasts, special interactive features, online classifieds, and even forums/discussion boards. Offer eBook subscriptions to the most popular eBook devices. Go digital.
3. Create a public news kiosk – Ok, this is one of my original ideas. Here’s my news kiosk concept:
Imagine a 30”+ multi-touch OLED screen that’s super thin and set into a wall of a public place (such as a library, light rail/BRT stops, hotel lobbies, airport terminals, etc.). You can drop money into a slot, or swipe your credit card against a scanner, and with the touch of your finger, you can have the latest updated news. A slick interface pops up, and you can navigate around the news page in traditional newsprint-style, or just like a slick webpage. There may be even an option where you can make an account, and just login if you subscribe rather than paying again. You could also use that account to save your favorite articles or comics too. There may even be an option to download some articles onto a mobile phone.
4. Mobile devices – Simply put, newspapers will want to allow users to view their news on a mobile phone of some sort as easily as possible. As more advances in smartphones come out, the more dynamic and feature-rich the content available should be. Maybe if the mobile device has GPS, the news site could use an API that will bring up news related to the current location you are at.
5. Move into televised news reporting – Buddy up with a local TV station or air on the public access channel to report news from the newspaper’s sources. Maybe one day, the newspaper will just transform into another local TV station for news.
So any opinions on this? Some of these options do seem plausible, would you agree? Comment.