Our sister site Baynewser sat down recently to interview McSweeney’s ‘s publisher Oscar Villalon about their print newspaper project, San Francisco Panorama, which is the latest issue of McSweeney’s Quarterly. Villalon says he hopes the project will reinvigorate the newspaper business:
“There’s plenty of inspiration within newspapers. We’re kind of hoping the Panorama becomes a touchstone for folks, reminding them, ‘Those ideas you had? They are good ideas, and this is how they might look like.’”
But will people pay $16 for this latest project?
Although editor Dave Eggers and McSweeney’s have launched multiple side-projects before, like the DVD series Wholphin and The Believer, Panorama marks the first publication whose purpose seems directly at odds with that of McSweeney’s original concept: to keep literature alive online, instead of on paper.
And though Eggers has been enjoying a host of successes recently due to his adaptation of Where The Wild Things Are, the Daniel Clowes typeface of Panorama might not be enough to keep people coming back for more. Maybe newspaper editors will gather inspiration from the latest McSweeney’s project, as Villalon hopes, and use it as a guide. They may be able to follow their model, and choose to put out papers less often in order to focus on in-depth writing. As Villalon advises:
“What we’re doing is an example of a Sunday newspaper. But the larger question is one the newspaper industry has to ask themselves: Is it worth coming out every single day? Do you keep an online presence for the daily and then you put out a newspaper once a week, twice a week, three times a week, depending on advertising support and depending on what staffing can support? And newspapers have to think about: How do we optimize what we have and put out a product that people will say, yeah, I’ll pay a dollar for that, or yeah, I’ll pay five dollars for that? There are cool things you can do there that you can’t do on the Internet because of the medium, like posters, giant comics, really cool huge double-truck graphics that you can pore over at your leisure — things that newspapers still have the resources to do.”
Read More: Five Questions With McSweeney’s Publisher About Dave Eggers’ Newspaper Project –BayNewser
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