The current state of the newspaper industry is unsettled at best: more than two hundred newspapers have either folded or stopped publishing their print editions since 2007. Even the most acclaimed newspapers in the country are downsizing their newsrooms or suspending home delivery of physical newspapers. Even after embracing social media, newspapers are still struggling with paywalls and subscriptions. As a result, the typical argument calls for supporting newspapers historically have been based on the idea of newspapers as a sort of civic institution that we, as a society, must preserve in the name of ideals (always capitalized) like Truth. But what if, instead, we begin to think of newspapers in perhaps a more mundane manner — as algorithms for solving problems?
This idea of “newspaper as algorithm” builds on a larger secular trend: the widescale appification of the media industry. As Nicholas Carr pointed out in a brilliant piece for the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard in December, one of the biggest trends of 2012 will be the continued segmentation and splicing of online newspaper content into apps for mobile devices:
“Appification promises to be the major force reshaping media in general and news media in particular during 2012. The influence will be exerted directly, through a proliferation of specialized media apps, as well as indirectly, through changes in consumer attitudes, expectations, and purchasing habits. There are all sorts of implications for newspapers, but perhaps the most important is that the app explosion makes it much easier to charge for online news and other content. That’s true not only when the content is delivered through formal apps but also when it is delivered through traditional websites, which may themselves come to be viewed by customers as a form of app. In the old world of the open web, paying for online content seemed at best weird and at worst repugnant. In the new world of the app, paying for online content suddenly seems normal. What’s an app store but a series of paywalls?”
Written by Dominic Basulto at Big Think. Continue HERE