A couple of days back I posed the question how to respond to the increasing costs of journalism. My recourse to Lazarsfelds theory of the two-step flow of communication is of course highly problematic. Even in a two-step flow information originates somewhere. But with newspapers struggling to survive and eventually dying this source of high-quality information ceases to exist. So the main question is: How do we, as a compound of democratic systems safe the media?
Murdoch is answering by trying to create a »Closed Garden«, a system of information lock-in and paid content. While he seems to be successful for now I doubt this to be successful in the long run. That is if newspapers can not offer surplus value beside the news itself. I myself would not consider paying for online news and as it seems I am not the only one (and here). And since advertisement doesn’t seem to suffice the medias needs (especially with many internet users turning to tools like AdBlockPlus) innovations is indeed badly needed.
Innovation like this:
or Polymer Visions‚. With virtually no size limitations news corporations could create a newspaper that for the first time really merges the best of both worlds: intellectual appearance, the chic of tech-gadgets, the ease of traditional paper, multimedia news and an appealing interface. Add that to on-the-go-reading, space saving, reduced server costs and personalized ads and you have a killer newspaper that users would certainly pay for!
(Honestly, I’d be sold if I saw a paper like that!)