Sunday, August 20, 2006

Is the Internet making my newspaper dummer?

I haven't read Chirs Anderson's The Long Tail yet and so I don't know whether he would apply long tail dynamics to newspapers. But I did read a recent article on Slate (How the New York Times Makes Local Papers Dumber) that suggests that there are other forces at work that tend to concentrate subscriptions to the biggest newspapers at the expense of local papers:

Never mind Times print expansion for a moment. What about the great Web incursion, which is looting educated readers from local newspapers everywhere? The Web editions of the Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Time, CNN, the Guardian, and many other news sites appeal to the same demographic that defects to the Times.

Speaking of which, have you seen the digital version of The Guardian? If not, you should try out the demo because I defy you to find a more beautiful and useable interface to an online newspaper. By the way, at $20 per month, it is $10 cheaper than cost for home delivery of the The Globe and Mail, which, I must say, I am beginning to find boring.

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