newspaper innovation??

When I was writing about Kristin Hersh the other day I asked why the record labels weren’t able to come up the new music business model that she’s using. I’m still a bit perplexed by this. Similarly, there’s been lots of talk recently about how newspapers find themselves in a pretty unfavourable position these days too. One of the ideas that John, Mark & I keeping returning to is that when times get tough, innovation becomes particularly important. Essential, even. If a newspaper can come up with a new model as innovative as Kristin’s, then maybe they have a chance. So I was particularly interested to see this:

It’s a new mobile newsfeed service developed by two guys in the NY Times R&D lab. One thing you can say about the Times is that they’ve certainly been trying a lot of different ideas in a search for a workable web business model for newspapers. A lot of their ideas haven’t come off very well, but they keep working ont it, unlike many other papers out there. And it certainly looks like they’re coming up with some new models that might actually work

I don’t know if any of these ideas will work any better than all the others. But I do know that if the NY Times is going to be a going concern 10 years from now, this is the kind of experimenting that they have to be doing right now.

Student and teacher of innovation - University of Queensland Business School - links to academic papers, twitter, and so on can be found here.

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3 thoughts on “newspaper innovation??

  1. What a fantastic idea. I don’t cheer the death of the newspaper nor even want to see it, but view it as an unfortunate eventual inevitability brought on by advancing technology. I’m glad the Times has been so tenacious in finding a new model, since they’re my most-desired read for recaps of events.

    This reminds me of that Shirky piece which I see you linked to in the earlier post on the subject. I guess what it comes down to is that print news – and publishing in general – will always be part of our way of life, but will eventually be eroded from the position of cash cow they occupied for several hundred years of human history. The bigwigs will move on from the idea of publishing empires, and the ones who love news will remain. 100 years from now, we’ll remember the paper era quaintly, and mourn the big trees sacrificed during that time.

  2. The speech by Steven Johnson that I linked to in that earlier article is a really good one too. He breaks down all of the different roles that have been played by newspapers and speculates about how they might be divided up in the future. I think it is a pretty sensible way to look at it… I still read a physical newspaper on average 4 or 5 days a week, so I’ll definitely miss them!

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