Rock, Paper, Scissors
It’s been a busy week for the newspaper world.
To start off, the New York Times declared it will reduce the width of the paper by one and a half inches in early 2008. Just in time for the presidential election, its narrow political focus will be matched by a narrow design.
The move will save money on newsprint and appeal to 21st century readers, who prefer the more convenient size.
It also provides a convenient excuse—lack of space!—for neglecting to cover conservative-friendly stories. Of course, Fox News may counter by handing the channel’s editorial decisions directly to the Republican National Committee.
The Wall Street Journal is also making changes. The paper announced yesterday that it will allow advertising on its front page for the first time this fall—a step that might bring in tens of millions of additional dollars.
Imagine the possibilities. We may see a story about a new corporate scandal accompanied by plugs for the embattled company’s products, or a feature on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation paired with Windows ads.
You could even spill your coffee on a Starbucks ad.
Maybe the New York Times will follow suit. Of course, the paper will soon have to sell only skinny ads. Probably for weight-loss programs. Or Chilean tourism.
Some other proposed changes to print media:
Indoor delivery: I’m sick of finding my newspapers strewn across the metro area. To raise circulation in the Internet era, papers should offer personal delivery to subscriber’s beds each morning. And breakfast in bed would be nice, too.
Smear-free newsprint: Honestly, people, we’re able to build a space station and manipulate DNA … why can’t develop an economical way to print newspapers that don’t leave our fingertips black?
More wise-ass columns: Let’s get some fresh authors with humorous perspectives on world events and pop culture into the mainstream media.
I wonder if anyone fits that description.