Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Printed matters.

The death of the newspaper has been greatly exaggerated. Some
newspaper brands are healthier than ever: particularly those with a
strong online presence and a modern design sensibility. My own
favourite is The Guardian: always one step ahead of the game, with a
great look, a superb website and a revolutionary approach to art
direction and section design. (Plagiarism is a strong word, but a lot
of European papers owe a great deal to the Guardian's design team.)

What will send a lot of inferior newspapers into bankruptcy, I
predict, is none other than the iPhone.

As wireless coverage gets more and more comprehensive, and GPRS gets
faster, mobile internet - already a usable reality - is only going to
become more and more a way of life.

And when it comes to reading the morning paper on the train or outside
Starbucks, why would you bother reading an inferior local rag like The
Nation from Thailand or Singapore's Straits Times when the latest
edition of The Guardian, The New York Times or Le Monde is available
in your hand?

I predict the rise of super-papers, daily publications whose
readership is not limited by any geographical boundaries. And the
demise of second-rate local papers, which will be ignored in favour of
more interesting international offerings.

And as for those who predicted that people would always be more
satisfied with a printed publication in their inky hands instead of
reading from a screen, I say the opposite is true. With the iPhone,
there's no wrestling with pages flapping in the breeze, no awkward
folding of the paper to read in crowded trains, no trouble finding the
section you want, and no annoying full page ads to avoid before you
get to the real news.

Besides, it leaves one hand free for the short cafe mocha.

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