What Does the Future of Journalism Look Like?
Apple has recently unveiled its highly anticipated tablet device, the iPad, offering a large, 9.7
inch touch surface similar to that found in its wildly successful,
little sibling, the iPhone.
its WiFi and 3G internet connectivity options, the device represents a step forward in mobile
The product may be underwhelming for cutting edge technology enthusiasts (a lack of a USB
ports, webcam, or multitasking functionality makes the product inferior to cheaper netbook
alternatives feature-wise), but Apple’s product seems to be appealing to a larger audience, and
will most likely be successful considering its strong track record for marketing, refining, and
But unlike how it has made popular both the MP3 player and digital media distribution with the
iPod, and the smartphone with the iPhone, Apple has positioned the iPad as a unique product,
filling in the gap (or perhaps inventing one) between the smart phone and the laptop.
However, the product has been getting most
a lot of
attention for bringing high hopes to the
journalism industry, which is
attempting to transform the way that digital news distribution has
been traditionally conducted.
While today’s customers are accustomed to viewing online
journalism through their web browser—whether it be on their desktop, laptop, or even their
mobile phones, online publications have been trying to find an opportunity to transform this
conventional means of distribution to one which is more profitable.
Hoping to return to the days when they earned most of their revenue directly from the consumer,
as opposed to being purely reliant on advertisers for income, publishers are looking for ways
to adapt how they sell news in order to maintain their history of high quality reporting.
the iPad is successful in the popular market, the technology could once again redefine how we
both receive and pay for our news.
E-readers, such as Amazon’s Kindle have acted as an experiment for big journalism to charge
subscription fees for online distribution.
A range of major publications have been offering
digital versions of their content for a monthly subscription fee on a variety of e-readers.
However, the e-paper screen technology, while superior for reading and energy efficiency, is
unable to display the color graphics or multimedia content which publications currently, leading
to an experience inferior to both print and browser-based offerings.
hile the iPad’s LCD
screen may not be as friendly to a reader’s eyes, its advantage is in its ability to solve both of the
e-readers shortcomings in terms of display technology.
Furthermore, the development of e-paper/LCD hybrid-technology