Wednesday, 26 October 2011

How I would reinvent the newspaper for today

Ok. Hi again. I want to take a little bit of time elaborating on my recent blog post, regarding the newspaper. I wasn't very kind to the daily dead tree times, suggesting it was an outdated, boring medium, and well, it is – sort of.

Here's how my daily encounter with the newspaper generally works: I get up, ten minutes later than I probably should, I shower, throw some organic over-priced hair product in my hair, (I'm told its better for the environment, or better for me, or somehow better for something), brush my teeth, rush to make coffee and throw together a lunch. As the coffee is dripping, I go outside to fetch the paper myself, because I don't have a dog. I timidly look at the front page, and nine times out of ten it's about something stupid, by stupid I mean something I don't particularly care about. I'm a pretty happy guy, and mornings can be hard enough; they don't need to be made harder by the front page of the paper proclaiming there has been another fatal car accident five blocks from my house, or another suspected arson of a local church goer's house. These may be the upmost concerns for some folks, but not for me.

So I toss the front three sections on the ground, all of which have similar headlines, and start reading the sports page. I love sports. The only reason I open the newspaper is to read the local sports news. After reading/skimming the sports section, I'm then left with a souvenir newspaper, that I'm told isn't likely to appreciate in value.

If you're like me, then you're always trying to make difficult situations easier, and if you're really like me, you'll understand just how difficult everything is. Fortunately improving the newspaper is a bit like the Winnipeg Jets making a trade: theres nowhere to go but up.

First of all, stop sending me paper. Visa doesn't send me paper bills anymore, neither does the phone company, or the bank. At my request, they e-mail me statements, offers, or anything else deemed worthy of my attention. This is awesome. Why doesn't the newspaper give me the same option? I'm willing to pay the same for the paper. Just stop sending me the paper. No, that's not a trick. In the e-mailed version of the paper, I would have a choice as to what kind of news I want delivered. Do NOT send me: the front page, certain editorials, movie reviews, or information on the latest improvements to some duck pond. I'm not a duck, and even if I was, I probably wouldn't care.

The e-mailed paper would have embedded videos of Paul LaPolice and Claude Noel. Why would I want to read about a post game press conference when I could just watch it? Ditto for the game synopsis. Write a short article about it, and show me the highlights. Have the email linked up to my facebook account, so that I can see what my friends comments are. This would be relevant, as likely if you are on my facebook I've spoken to you more than once.

Now comes the best part: if a sports story breaks halfway through the day, write about it, and email it to me. You don't have to wait until the next morning to tell me. I really would be more awake during the day, anyway.

I would even make a separate ring tone alert for the newspaper e-mails. Now we're talking. You're nothing if you don't have your very own ring tone these days, anyway.

Cut down on paper costs. Give me the news that I want. Give it to me quickly, and don't make me read if a video would do. And would it kill you to start off the news email with “good morning Mike”? Everything else is personalized these days. Why can't my news “paper” be.  

1 comment:

  1. Wow Mike!! This is a such an interesting look at the paper. For someone who enjoys paper copies of things, this is a little bit of a stretch for me, but I can definitely see where you're coming from.
    I am wondering about one aspect of what you're saying, too.
    Are you thinking that they should replace whatever written news with a video if possible? Or just have a video to supplement the written portion? Because there are a lot of times (for me at least) when watching a video isn't convenient or even feasible. I also read a lot faster than the video plays, so I can learn more in the same amount of time.