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Reporters' Roundtable: Can the iPad save journalism? (podcast)

Is iPad the magical device that can do for newspapers and magazines what CD-ROMs, the Web, and RSS readers couldn't? We talk with PaidContent's Rafat Ali and the New York Times' Damon Darlin.

Today's show: Can the iPad save newspapers and magazines? Or, to be more general, can tablets save journalism? It's an important topic and we have two excellent and overqualifiied guests to get into it.

First, in the studio, Damon Darlin, the technology editor of a small newspaper that's still printed on actually paper. You may have heard of it: The New York Times.

And joining us from his headquarters in New York, the founder, publisher and editor of ContentNext Media and the insightful PaidContent news site, Rafat Ali.

Now playing: Watch this: Reporters' Roundtable: Can the iPad save journalism?...


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Show notes and talking points

In a nutshell, what is the problem at newspapers?

(Eric Schmidt: "A business model problem, not a news problem.")

Same issue at magazines?

(If needed, a refresher for the audience on traditional publishing business: Income sources: ads, subscriptions, classifieds; expenses: reporters, printing, transportation)

Why didn't the Web save newspapers? (blogs, Craigslist, etc.)

Just to clear the air here: What is the NYT doing on the iPad? PaidContent? Why? What are metrics for success?

What's different about the iPad? (a business model reset?)

If the iPad can do it, why didn't Kindle? Or RSS?

How much will readers pay? Should they pay anything?

What can you do on the iPad that you can't do in print or the Web? Journalistically? from a business perspective?

I've talked to a few magazine publishers about the iPad. They are very excited about it. Why would that be?

The awesome demos you see--like the Popular Science one--must cost a fortune to produce. How will magazines make that back? And more importantly, do people want to read this way? It reminds me of CD-ROM content...

Are newspapers antiquated? Has tech ever saved an industry that was already in decline?

What about journalism (as opposed to the newspaper business)? What's the role of the tablet in it?

What can publishers learn from music industry in doing deal with Jobs? Is Jobs going to take over news the way he did music? Censorship issue?


Next time: Twitter has a business model! Guests Caroline McCarthy +1 TBA. E-mail comments to, and get all the show notes as well as replays and downloads of the podcast on the blog. Watch my Twitter feed (@Rafe) for updates.