Center for Citizen Media Rotating Header Image

Newspaper Faces Tomorrow by Retreating

NY Times: Microsoft, NYT partner on newspaper software. Aiming to offer newspapers a new digital publishing alternative, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates on Friday touted a software program that tries to make publications easier to read on a computer screen.


  • Do very many people really want to read the paper’s journalism this way?
  • How much will the newspaper(s) charge?
  • Will this product include digital restrictions management (DRM) that, for example, prevents saving the stories or copying a section for further (fair) use?
  • What is the itch being scratched here, other than herding readers into a system that can be more easily monetized but is less convenient and very likely much more restrictive?
  • In other words, what’s really in it for the customers?

2 Comments on “Newspaper Faces Tomorrow by Retreating”

  1. #1 A
    on Apr 29th, 2006 at 7:53 am

    Good luck NY Times. With the advent of blogs, I only glance at your paper (or any other MSM site) when I find an interesting link from one of the many blogs I read on a daily basis, it seems I might be even less likely to visit now…

  2. #2 Anna Haynes
    on May 1st, 2006 at 12:16 pm

    > “tries to make publications easier to read on a computer screen…”

    um, yeah.
    “In order to serve you better, …”

    Funny how they never seem to base these decisions on the customers’ expressed needs, but still employ customer-centric justifications after-the-fact.

    Like remodeling cubicles “in order to improve the workers’ self esteem” in the wake of a massive layoff.

    A blog equivalent, that I’ve seen in newspapers, is “in order to make it easier to skip from post to post…” – to justify pruning the posts and comments so that if you want to read more than the first sentence or so, you have to click through to a separate page for each comment and for each post.

    some poor PR person has a job, and they’re doing the best they can with what they have to work with.