The headline for Ravi Somaiya‘s item about New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson ceding the position to Dean Baquet is typically low-key. The reactions on Twitter are not. Interspersed with a roughly equal amount of “Wow!” and “Whoa!” manual re-tweets, at press time, are the following observations by Nieman Lab director Joshua Benton, freelance writer Ruth Graham and Mashable assistant editor Megan Hess: Read more
Posts Tagged ‘Joshua Benton’
Before Apple’s big tablet computer unveiling yesterday, all people in the magazine industry seemed to be talking about was “the tablet” and all the promises its full color touchscreen held for in store for declining newsstand sales and waning advertiser interest.
But, we were surprised to see that not one magazine was included in Steve Jobs‘ presentation yesterday. While publishers like Time Inc. and Bonnier had developed tablet concepts for what they thought Apple’s product was going to look like, it seems like no one was willing (or asked?) to make an iPad-ready app in three weeks like The New York Times did.
So today, we wonder, will there be magazine apps ready when iPad is ready for purchase later this year? What issues will publishers be facing as they rush to put out something in the coming months?
Benton said he understood why those in the media held the Kindle, Amazon’s e-reader product, out as the possible savior of the industry — since Kindle users were willing to pay for newspaper subscriptions while online readers were not. But this theory fails because Kindle users represent such a small part of total number people who read the news. “It’s a way to get marginal income from a small percentage of people who are willing to pay for news,” he said.
Also, the Kindle itself is not a good tool for reading newspapers, and certainly not magazines. There are additional features e-readers would need in order to make good news reading devices, like a fast connection, alerts and multimedia capabilities. “E-readers will become a mainstream category when they become excellent web devices,” Benton said. However, when that happens, “the news business model for e-readers collapses.”
Guess as far as Benton is concerned, e-readers won’t be the savior of the print news industry that everyone is hoping they will be. Instead, newspapers and magazines will become smaller, more expensive and “more elite products,” and most people will still get their news for free from the Web.
And as we wrap up our coverage of the eBook Summit, check out some photos from the event yesterday and today.
As we look towards 2010, we can already predict that e-readers and digital editions of everything — from magazines to books — will be an important focus for the media in the coming year.
That’s why we’ll be checking out mediabistro.com’s newest conference, the eBook Summit, starting tomorrow morning and continuing through Wednesday afternoon. We’re most looking forward to hearing comments from speakers who are journalists or who work for journalistic institutions, like Katty Kay of “BBC World News America,” The Associated Press‘ Jennifer Stenger and Joshua Benton from Nieman Journalism Lab.
But if you can’t take time off work to scoot over to New World Stages, mediabistro.com will also be broadcasting the conference’s keynote addresses live online. We’ll also be posting dispatches live from the conference here and there, and you can follow all the action on WebNewser, mediabistro.com’s publishing blog GalleyCat and our newest blog, eBookNewser.
If you’re interested, here’s more info:
What: Mediabistro’s eBook Summit
When: December 15-16, 9:30 am – 5:45: pm
Where: New World Stages
340 W. 50th St. (between 8th and 9th Aves.)
Watch online here.
Despite widespread industry layoffs and the closures plaguing many media outlets, 575 journalists, writers and students gathered in Boston over the weekend for Harvard University’s annual Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism.
Numbers were down — last year the event attracted 850 attendees, meaning this year’s number of attendees was down by a third — but while the conference addressed the uncertain future of the media, speakers strove to stay upbeat. In addition to much discussion of business models, several themes emerged throughout the weekend: