Saturday I took a step back – from my laptop – to catch up with the newspaper. I chose the New York Times and forked over $2.12, a small price to pay for what turned out to be three hours of reading, writing and ideating. Each time I wanted to pull out my iPhone, I dug deeper into Sections A and B, determined to have an uninterrupted afternoon with what Devin Coldewey, a CrunchGear blogger, called “delayed media,” aka the ink newspaper.
Delayed media is 1/3 of the concept that is part of the “present media triumvirate” theory coined by Coldewey. Helen Thomas once told me that the benefit of the print newspaper is that you end up reading much more than you would have if you were searching for something online. I found that to hold true during my experiment. I read about how labor shortages in China will make their exports more expensive and I learned that Citigroup is about to launch a PR campaign aimed at revamping their image with Wall Street and Washington. Neither of which I got from my Twitter feeds and the cable news loop that I typically keep on during the days.
While I love the newspaper (I starting delivering them in fifth grade), they haven’t kept up with the pace of the web and so they haven’t kept up with me. Even though I have worked to keep them in my life, I know that the average newsreader hasn’t. And I don’t blame them. But I am trying to figure out a way to apply the best of traditional media (epitomized by the delayed media) and combine it with the best tactics and tools of the new.
While I know this isn’t an easy problem to solve, I have wondered what else a major entity like the New York Times could offer that would might help to define journalism as a value-driven product. They might try this on for size…
- Make a complete roadmap for delayed media’s transition to the web
- Establish a new social compact with consumers and clear value propositions to restore broken trust
- Turn consumers into customers to keep them more informed with original content, aggregation strategy and contextual follow-up.
Who knows – starting there might actually put us on the path to building a new news value proposition, one that will be strong enough to weather the economy, recruit new talent and define journalism as a value-driven product. Something worth the $2.12.
Reported by: Erica Anderson
Edited by: Garon Wade