Apple, Microsoft, and countless others are looking to win the race for the latest device – the tablet. In addition, Sony and Amazon will be continuing to “kindle” up a new market in readers. This is a very big deal for our industry, for it will be the savior of the newsroom and journalism across the country.
As we watch the story unfold on devices, know that a great device can change an industry forever, as did the iPod for the music industry. As with change, no side will tell you it was a perfect solution, but consumers are buying music and the industry is not bearing the cost of manufacturing, packing, and delivering the actual CDs.
So apply this logic to the printed word. As with music, great journalism it is being shared without benefit to the creator. So enter the tablet or reader.
When you figure the cost of a newsroom is roughly one-third the cost of operations, your subscription alone could cover the cost of the content development while two-thirds of cost is in printing and distribution. It is sad to say, but the likely victim may be the many people who work the presses and deliver the papers. However, the printed versions will not completely disappear (nor did CDs) -- but there will be a shift.
It is better for the industry to evolve than perish. America needs its journalists! It is what makes us who we are as a country. People need somewhere to turn for trusted advice and we need to support them. So, please keep buying the papers but also buy a reader or tablet and subscribe to your favorite newspaper, magazine, or trade to remind them that times are changing and you are standing behind them.
Tom Coyne, CEO, Coyne PR