Can I Have a Kindle Instead?

Can this really be true?

Not that it’s anything we think the New York Times Company should do, but we thought it was worth pointing out that it costs the Times about twice as much money to print and deliver the newspaper over a year as it would cost to send each of its subscribers a brand new Amazon Kindle instead.

The Washington Post is probably in the same boat and I’d like them to know that I wouldn’t mind at all if they want to send me a Kindle instead of dropping the paper version in my yard every morning.

A business blog recently posted put the Times on a short list of newspapers predicted to follow the path of the Rocky Mountain News, one of the two major Colorado papers, which closed down this week after almost 150 years of publication.

The Post probably isn’t on that list because the news publications (they also own Newsweek) are subsidized by the huge profits that come from their Kaplan unit, which sells lots of tutorial services to schools that NCLB says are failures.

Anyway, I’m no expert on the publishing industry but I’ve certainly been a consumer of major newspapers for many years and I’m very interested in seeing the kind of quality (mostly) reporting and writing they do continue.

However, it’s very clear (at least to me) that the Post and the others probably need to get out of the business of transporting a physical copy of their web site to my door each day.

Now, all they have to do is figure out how to get us to pay for information on their web site when they’ve already trained us to expect it for free.

[Updated to correct error about NY Times. Thanks to Chris for pointing out that I can’t tell the difference between New York papers. :-)]

2 Comments Can I Have a Kindle Instead?

  1. Chris Lehmann

    Fortunately, it’s the NY Daily News, not the Times on the list, but still… there’s about to be a big change in the way we deal with information.

  2. Bellringers (Carol Richtsmeier)

    Call me old school, but it’s just not the same having that morning coffee and no paper newspaper. (It’s hard to wrap your hands around a computer screen. And a Kindle? I’m just not there yet.) I take the Dallas Morning News, but it continually comes later and later, so now it’s not here in time for me to read it in the morning, so I have to go online. My husband wants to cancel our subscription and just take it on the weekend, but as a journalism teacher and publications adviser, I just can’t contribute to its demise even though the week day version often goes in the recycling bin unread.

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