The London Paper

The Economist, itself registered as a newspaper, in a recent issue led on its front page with 'Who killed the newspaper?' arguing in a leader that most newspapers are still too timid, defensive or high-minded about the Internet.

Yesterday, News International (part of News Corp) launched 'The London Paper' a feature and pictures led freesheet distributed mainly to commuters in the evening rush hour. Many aspects of the paper's layout and editorial and navigation appear to be have been influenced by web design - again demonstrating how the Internet is impacting virtually all other businesses.

Interest in taking a copy no doubt benefitted from the 'Crocodile Hunter' aka Steve Irwin story breaking during the day, but The London Paper provides a good example of an alternative journalistic style - particularly its positive upbeat coverage of the capital.

Comments:

I do not know if the Internet killed the newspaper [is that what the Economist is saying?]...reading a newspaper has always been a demanding task (with nuisance value): it alienates wives who are trying to get a word in edgewise on the breakfast/dinner table, it consumes a good part of a Sunday, in many countries it spills into the workday esp. when fastidious newspaper-readers must finish their daily newspaper cover-to-cover.

A majority of the newspapers have embraced the Internet: case in point the NY Times which supposedly has more revenues from its online presence...

I typically skim internet news...some I read more carefully. But each time I encounter the actual print edition, I am tempted to actually sit down on an easy chair and take it all in leisurely...

I guess the free availability of Internet news (yahoo, google, nytimes.com etc) is what makes people less inclined to buy newspapers -- plus you do away with all that clutter of print...

But I still think reading multi page articles on the internet is a strain on the eyes and I'd much rather read a hard copy...

Posted by Umang on September 05, 2006 at 11:43 AM GMT #

Thanks for your feedback Umang. Certainly, newspapers are unlikely to disappear overnight but they will have to diversify into new revenue areas. Additionally, they face the challenge of being able to charge for their content online. Since from the beginning, news content was made freely available on the Web in the expectation it would drive users to purchase the printed version (and because registration was difficult to set-up and was a clunky user experience), it's now an uphill struggle for newspapers to monetise content online.

Posted by Stephen Davis on September 06, 2006 at 08:50 AM GMT #

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