NYT: Putting print on the grid is a necessity, because the grid is where America lives. But what the newspaper industry really needs is an iPod moment.
The story goes on to float the idea of a portable news reader/tablet gadget, something I've been hearing on and off for a few years.
What's far more interesting to me is what I call the "TV Week strategy." The advent of TV scared newspapers until they realised that they could make money writing about TV. Hence the birth of TV magazines, TV guides, and endless stories about TV ratings. That's all good fodder for selling paper.
So if you take a look at The New York Times' growing coverage of blogs, podcasting and Web 2.0 stuff these days, I get the feeling newspapers are applying the same technique all over again. And no, it's not a bad idea at all. It's a virtuous circle. Blogs need mainstream exposure, and newspapers serve a valuable role charting new trends & technology movements in a concise fashion.
Oh, and in case you missed it, I landed a front page story on Thursday Oct 6 covering the Google and Sun Microsystems deal. It spilled to a full page of analysis by yours truly. Plenty of commentators around the world have bagged this deal, and that's fair enough. But in some cases, it's easy to overlook a powerful trend amid all the fashionable knee-jerk reactions. Jonathan Schwartz describes it as a shift in the model for distributing software. Make no mistake, software applications are moving off the desktop and on to the web. In that regard, Microsoft faces the same legacy business issues as newspapers. And that's a big story.
And for the record: an Australian IT media site called IT Journo has one or two freelance reporters that make a habit of beating up on the journalists and the IT media that the site aims to promote (a big passion of its founder Phil Sim).
The site ran piece last week in which it decided that my Google/Sun story, and a shorter piece on the same subject in the national pages of The Australian newspaper, was actually a sign of editors scratching around for a good story (link here for IT journalist subscribers).
It's clear to me that ITJ, and the freelance journalist in question here, got it wrong again. Any IT story that makes the front page, or even national pages, of major Australian daily newspapers should be given its due. The bigger agenda at play, elements of which I've touched on above, is far more interesting than some banal, arm-chair insight.
If ITJ does not appreciate the positive impact IT stories appearing the national sections have on the future of the media, and the IT trade media business in particular, then I'd seriously question whether the writers are aligned with site's pro-IT media industry agenda.