Think Like an Editor blog by Steve Davis and Emilie Davis, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University

Will the iPad ruin print for good? Video

By · Monday, November 15th, 2010

This past week, I received at least six e-mails from colleagues and friends alerting me to an article quoting James Murdoch, who is the head of News Corp in Europe and Asia, and who is the son of Rupert Murdoch.

The article was about the state of newspapers and how applications on the Apple iPad are “cannibalizing” newspapers. James Murdoch’s point is that while people have said for years that competition from online news would bring down newspapers, the iPad might finally do it. His reason: The iPad comes really close to the reader experience of holding a physical newspaper and turning its pages.

He has a point.

I recently bought an iPad, and I use it to read news, to check my e-mail and to do just about everything that an app allows. As much as I enjoy reading newspapers, which I do daily, I know what James Murdoch means about the reader experience. The iPad is intuitive and puts me in charge of what I want to do and how I want to do it. It feels personal.

Still, though, as a journalist who started in newspapers and who believes in them to this day, I want them to succeed. I know they are struggling. I know why. I understand all of that. But there is a part of me that believes if newspapers can focus on their content and not the platform, if they can give readers what they need as well as what they want, if they can continue to inform and enlighten and provide a forum for public discourse, then maybe — maybe — they will survive in paper and ink. And whatever, I know they will survive in some form, app or otherwise.

As I said in the video, I am determined to focus on the positive: the growing demand for daily, timely and useful content that print people are the best at delivering.

You can download our video to your iPod or other portable device. Or, you can view it — and others in the archive — via our YouTube playlist, right off the Web, or in the player on our home page.

Steve Davis

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