News Media and the iTablet

Entrepreneur Mark Potts’s blog, “Recovering Journalists,” is filled with his thoughts on the changing world of news media. The sidebars on his blog even offer links to advice articles for laid off journalists and updates on media company bankruptcies and newsroom layoffs. If reading those didn’t make me feel even worse about the future of journalism, reading one of his latest blog posts actually perked my interests for the better.

He discusses Apple’s allegedly upcoming iSlate, a tablet computer that will have Wi-Fi and Internet access. “Apple’s tablet has the potential to change the way we consume and pay for media—many different types of media—as substantially as the company revolutionized the computing business with the original Macintosh, the music business with the iPod and iTunes and telephony and handheld computing with the iPhone,” Potts writes.

Potts outlines how the types of media could be affected by the tablet. For newspapers, he calls it “the ultimate in personalized news” and tells newspapers not to lazily slap print content on the tablet screen. I think that brings up a valid issue—will papers use print content or Web content for the tablet or whip up new content altogether. Journalists already seem to be struggling to adjust to balancing their work load between print and Web. But if users pay for news on the tablet, the extra time and work could literally pay off. 

With magazines, Potts said the tablet has the ability to provide interactivity among readers. In the book world, the tablet will allow books to be read in color unlike the Kindle. TV, movies, apps, gaming, and instant communication would also help add to the invention’s popularity. It’s even a computer, too.

The speculated iTablet could change news media for the better and I hope it does just that.

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