Wednesday, January 02, 2008

What's in the Daily News? Or Any Other Paper?

Kara Swisher, today, says farewell to print and embraces an online-only future. She explains that it's not just about saving trees, but embracing the virtues of the new medium of online journalism.

As if to underscore that drain-circling status of print journalism, there's an online access point for local newsapapers that calls itself a Newseum. (Images flash of Carl Akeley's exhibits of dead animals in The American Museum of Natural History. So lifelike. Except for their stillness.) Joni Mitchel said they put all the trees in a tree museum. Maybe this dead tree museum is it.

Coolest part of the Newseum is an interactive Flash map that lets you see the front page of newspapers around the country and around the world. (There's a faster but less cool list interface as well).

Mickeleh's Take: There's huge diversity in local papers. That diversity is on the endangered species list in the accelerating rush to consolidation. But if Kara is right--she usually is--we might have to file Newseum under "Last chance to See."

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Francine Hardaway, Ph.D said...

I already sent her my congratulations. She embraces change instead of fighting it.

Many local newspapers, however, are doing very well if they are niched enough. It's the bigger papers that are flailing. The local papers will probably exist until the web begins to serve the smaller, local neighborhoods better. Everyone knows this has to happen, from Yahoo on down, but no one knows how to do it. It's like trying to penetrate the "small business" market.