March 2, 2009

WHAT WILL SAVE NEWSPAPERS: Howard Kurtz writes about the newspaper industry’s problems. He’s right that a lot of them are self-inflicted — including, in my opinion, the shortchanging of hard-news reporting.

But what might save newspapers? Well, I’ve been reading the Financial Times on the Kindle 2, and I’ve found it quite enjoyable, and, surprisingly, have found myself reading the paper in depth in spite of the Kindle’s okay-but-not-great newspaper navigation setup. It’s easy to read, you don’t get ink on your fingers, and there’s nothing to throw away or recycle when you’re done. Driving back from DC yesterday, I let the Insta-Wife drive a good deal and spent several hours happily reading things on the Kindle and I like it a lot. And it lasted the whole trip with plenty of battery power left, though I really didn’t use it much while in DC. I’m planning on subscribing to some other newspapers, as I find the experience of reading news on the Kindle better than I expected.

Meanwhile, for Kindle users, here’s a tip: When you go to the section list, all you get is the number of stories in each section. But if you click on the number, it will open up in to a list of titles with a sentence or so from the lede. That makes the navigation easier, but it’s not obvious unless you read the manual.

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