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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers has some pretty scary numbers...



Honestly, I have been a print newspaper subscriber my whole life. (I'm 28.) My parents picked up the tab when I lived at home and I paid for my paper to come to my dorm when I was a freshman in college and ever since. I tried the Washington Post subscription on the Kindle2 and I did not keep it, but I did like reading it in that format.

If my local paper generates a Kindle edition, I think I would switch to an e-ink version.

What do you think?
 

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I think it depends on the paper and the person.

For example, my father travels a great deal for work.  So for him being able to get The Wall Street Journal downloaded no matter where he's hiding would be great (though he would need to be able to get it overseas).  But like most people, he's not going to download The USA Today, since he doesn't read it at home and gets it for free at most US hotels.  My mom wouldn't mind getting the paper from some towns they used to live.  She loved reading the police blotter in Durango, which mostly consisted of raccoons and the odd "complaint of prowler, found bear". 

My local paper (The Denver Post) has gone dramatically downhill.  Full of fluff pieces, taking press releases at their face value, lack of critical thinking or in-depth analysis.  It's like a high school paper with a bigger budget.  The only decent articles are actually from the AP. 

I think the trend may become micro-payments.  News articles from all over the world, pick the one you think is interesting or is highly rated by other readers and pay your $0.25 to read the article.  Whether you get your articles on a laptop or a Kindle maybe a moot point, rather like "would you rather have on Apple or PC", they will both be available. 

Lara Amber
 

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i wonder how much of the results are because "that's the way it's always been done" kind of thinking.  Print papers you always had to pay for - people are used to it.  Internet stuff, esp things for mobile devices, are the opposite - people are used to getting content for free.  I'm fortunate that my local paper (San Jose Mercury News) has a Kindle subscription available, but they also have their paper online for free.  I don't have a lot of money right now (plus I'm peeved that I can't use gift cards for subscriptions) so I use the free.  But if I had more discretionary income, I'd subscribe to several newspapers/magazines especially if I had the newer models of Kindle.  I think it will become more successful once people get used to the idea that you can get the print content online instead of DT(Whatever).  I think things like getting the NYT or WSJ for a really reduced price vs. having out of area delivery will really help people get accepting of the new business model.  I bet that in a year if they do that survey again the numbers will be a LOT better. 
 

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If not on Kindle, then some other device.

I like reading the paper, but by the time I get to it in the evening, it's old news.

When?  It'll be awhile, I would guess the reader would have to be $50 or less to make it happen.
 

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I'd like to have a newspaper subscription for my Kindle but can't. I'd tell you it's because all the available papers are too far to the left to suit me but I'm not allowed to say that. I'll be subscribing if there's ever a paper I'd want. I also think maybe e-paper and mobile device score so low partly because of limited use.
 

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LDB said:
I'd like to have a newspaper subscription for my Kindle but can't. I'd tell you it's because all the available papers are too far to the left to suit me but I'm not allowed to say that. I'll be subscribing if there's ever a paper I'd want. I also think maybe e-paper and mobile device score so low partly because of limited use.
But you did just say it and your message is still here, so obviously you are allowed to say it.

Instead of slamming the papers that are available, how about if you said, "I'd like to read ___ on my Kindle, but unfortunately, it is not available in a Kindle version...yet. I hope it will be soon."

It's all a matter of perspective.

L
 

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personally i think newspapers are a dieing breed, whether they will be popular on kindle or not, is a moot point when alot of them are going bankrupt.
 

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One thing I am hoping with the release of the KDX is that more newspapers will be available so that we all have more options to choose from. I was on a business trip last week and it was so nice to download a paper and read it -- no paper to carry and try to open up on an airplane or cramped seating at the gate.
 

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I can definitely see e-ink based papers picking up steam, it's just going to take a while for it to catch on. It's just the next logical step in the evolution of print.
 

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I subscribe to the NY Times on Kindle, canceled my DT version.

Pros:

Save about $30/mo
More portable
End up reading more of paper
Can get it wherever I am
Better for trees
Don't need to throw out huge buildup of old papers

Cons:

Experience of reading the paper is inferior
No Layout, minimal graphics
I miss DT version, may go back

EDIT: just changing the size of the device as in the Kindle DX will not change the experience much for the better. The publishers must make layout and graphics more like the experience of print, as in the "Times Reader" service that the NY Times offers on the web.
 

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LDB said:
I've written the WT asking about it but so far there's no absolute plans to go ereader. Maybe they'll change their minds or maybe a comparable option will become available.
Here is hoping. I know others who would enjoy reading it on their Kindles.

There seems to be a growing number of newspapers on the Kindle. I have a feeling that when the DX is released that we will see a spike in the number of papers that sell a Kindle edition.

It could be that some papers are holding out because they want to sell advertisements and you cannot do that on the Kindle version right now. I think that the Economist is holding out because it does not want to pay a fee to Amazon. I could be wrong about that but it is a real possibility.
 

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I read the NY Times on my Kindle and love it - downloads (even via my computer and transfer) very fast; no ads or interruptions to hunt down a continuation of an article; no pile to recycle; and much cheaper than subscribing to the print version (and since I live in rural Northern California, the daily NYT would have to be mailed to me). It's also been great being able to save clips/notes from articles I read on Kindle. We still subscribe to a local daily, but mostly it's so I can read the comics and do the crossword and Suduko puzzles that aren't provided in my Kindle subscription.

I was really excited, initially, about the Kindle DX because I hoped it would be a good solution for reading business documents. Unfortunately, from what I've read, I won't be able to highlight, annotate or clip pages from PDFs on the DX. Hopefully that's something that will change, but (as far as I know) it won't affect newspapers on DX as they're currently in AZW format. I doubt that I'd ever by a Kindle just to read periodicals, but as long as you have one, it is a great way to read those as well as books and my own non-PDF documents that I can convert for Kindle.

Glynnis
 

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I'm with Glynnis -- I resisted subscribing via my Kindle for the longest time because how could I reproduce the feeling of flipping the page over?  That smell of fresh newsprint? 

Well, the Kindle can.  My paper reading in the morning is much more streamlined, no ads nor having to turn to another page to finish an article.  I can skip whole sections or editorials that I don't agree with.  And surprisingly there are pictures embedded in the stories I can see. 

I like the idea of saving money, of saving on waste and reducing paper garbage.  The things I miss like comics I can read online.  Very rarely I don't get it before I wake in the morning so I can almost always read it over breakfast. 
 

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I would like to know more about the study (the link provided didn't go to the study). Was this a poll of folks ALREADY PAYING FOR THE PAPER? If so, no wonder the DT version was perferred by 100%, they are already doing that :p As for e-ink versions, I would also attribute it to ignorance of the medium and the embryonic state of e-book readers.

I think DT general papers are going down for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is the total lack of objectivity, investigative journalism, and overall poor level of journalisitic professionalism seen in the MSM today. Folks who want ACCURATE news on a topic will go to a speciality journal/website, where the reporters actually know what they are talking about and can seperate their opinion/hyperbole from the reported facts. If all I wanted to read were AP stories, I think there are cheaper ways to do that than through one of these large newspapers. Staples like the classifieds are now online, stuff like obituaries, wedding announcements, and crime beats seem to have lost relevence. And of course the glitz and glam of TV is the papers greatest threat.

Eventually I do think an e-book reader will become a popular format, though ANY electronic device can access the content, so it is probably better to lump all digital distribution models together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
jason10mm said:
I think DT general papers are going down for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is the total lack of objectivity, investigative journalism, and overall poor level of journalisitic professionalism seen in the MSM today.
At no point in history have newspapers been more objective.

Investigative and in-depth stories are also far more common now than at any point in American journalism history.

What has faded is the coverage of government and society minutia, thoroughness and context. Don't believe me? Go to your library and look at the microfiche of newspapers from any other point in time. These are all common complaints now, including by some journalists. (Of which I am one.) There's always a feeling that things in the past were better. But, seriously, go back and look at old papers. Those complaints can be levied 10 fold back in the day.

That is certainly not to say journalism has gotten better. I will say writing was livelier, punchier, more grammatically correct and often more fun in the old days. That's why I read old papers: To get inspiration. And with the depleted staffs and depleted news hole, you will see things get worse and worse, less relevant and less relevant. The business model is broken. eInk could help it, but I don't know if it will save it.
 
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