Are Newspapers The TiVo Of News?

from the maybe,-but-not-quite dept

Earlier this year, The Daily Sho did a segment about the New York Times, where correspondent Jason Jones had the classic line where he referred to the paper newspaper as providing "aged news". Danny Sullivan has posted an interesting rethink on that, noting that rather than "aged news," what if we just think of newspapers as "stored news," or more specifically "a TiVo for news" or an "iPod for news." It's based on a recent talk given by Kevin Marks, where he notes that despite all the hype about "real time" info, people will pay plenty to store and delay information, such as with a TiVo or iPod.

It's an interesting idea, but if that's the case, I'm not sure the newspaper is really the best or most efficient means of "storing" news. Part of the reason why the TiVo (or other DVRs) and the iPod have been so successful is not just because they allow for the storage of content, but because they allow for the customization of what content, and give significantly more control over how it's consumed. Newspapers aren't quite like that. They tend to be more "here's what we've decided you want," rather than a delivery of what you've asked for or chosen to store. I would think that something like an RSS aggregator would be a lot more like "TiVo'd news" than any newspaper.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: news, newspapers, storage, tivo


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2009 @ 4:52pm

    Newspapers are often better than "instant" news because they have the time to let the story develop at least a bit before they report it. Often, newspaper reports of a story the next morning are way more informative and complete, when compared to say a Faux news "instant analysis" with their collection of uninformed talking heads, people who know the people who live near the people involved in the story, and "experts" who have no clue what is going on.

    Instant news is entertainment, in the same manner as a game show or anything on Faux News. Newspapers tend to report the story better, and seem to be right about things more often.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Torry (profile), 3 Dec 2009 @ 5:20pm

    Key difference

    The key difference is that news is much more perishable content than video or music. A good deal of what's news today will lose a great deal of its value as content in a few days or weeks. Sharing it or re-reading it just won't be as meaningful once it's "old news". TV shows on a Tivo have a much longer shelf life, and music even more so.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2009 @ 5:45pm

      Re: Key difference

      It's also still stored and indexed on the Internet. Content delivered by television networks can be "stored" on a Tivo because in its original delivery, it's on when it's on and that's it.

      Online news is (almost) always in the same place no matter when a given person accesses it. And with a high degree of reliability, it will still be there in the future. I guess what I'm saying is, it's accessible in the first place because it's already stored.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2009 @ 6:47pm

    You're forgetting the real purpose behind tivo. It's to skip the commercials, which we all hate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2009 @ 9:51pm

    s

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2009 @ 9:51pm

    sdad

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Dec 2009 @ 9:52pm

    dfdff

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    jsl4980 (profile), 4 Dec 2009 @ 6:23am

    Not even close

    No, newspapers are not anything like a DVR or iPod. I do not get to choose what gets printed in my newspaper. I choose what gets saved to my DVR or to my iPod. The "DVR" of news is an RSS feed.

    Printing stories and advertisements that some faceless editor chose on dead trees is nothing like a DVR.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Paul (profile), 4 Dec 2009 @ 9:15am

    Prepare for tomorrow....

    You are right in the sense that DVRs and TiVo requires a "premeditated" act on the part of the user to record content ... TODAY.

    But you really should consider the ramifications of Moore's Law on storage...

    http://brownzings.blogspot.com/2009/11/disruptive-change.html

    By 2013 we can reasonably expect the price of a GB to drop below a penny, and by 2015 (15 years from now) a TB will drop below a penny. The blog points out that by 2020 $100 will buy you a storage device big enough to hold 15 YEARS of HD Video.

    Then the question becomes... Why should I have to decide AHEAD of time what I want to watch? And why should I rely on a content company to watch anything that already exists?

    So at this point News Papers are behind the eight ball when it comes to storing news. BUT they have vast archives of news. At what point to they look to provide access to their archives to everyone? Is there any way for them to leverage their news history as well as expanding their content daily? What about text to speech and real time delivery (to allow them to compete with radio)? Small 15 second adds tied to GPS info (in an iPhone application, for example) could be hugely profitable, couldn't it?

    Just thinking about News Papers as news storage sources....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anon, 4 Dec 2009 @ 10:08am

    One benefit that newspapers (or any delayed news source) offer (or used to offer) is informed commentary and analysis. If facts, in and of themselves, don’t have much meaning, then the sources we choose to give those facts meaning matter a lot. It might be fair to say that a primary value of newspapers and such is analysis and not news at all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.