American Pie 11.03.05

The day,
long predicted, when newspaper readers will get their daily paper on
their computer and printed for them on a copier is one step closer. The
Missourian , a paper put out by the University of Missouri School of
Journalism, has started a 10-week experiment aimed at proving that
print and the web can mix. Readers who log onto the system will be able
to read their paper, organised in the usual way with a news and sports
, plus entertainment, health and life-style sections, on their computer
screen -or it can be printed out on 8inx11in on computer paper.

“There
is a large niche these days that’s not being filled, of people who
appreciate what a newspaper can provide, but are more digitally
attuned, ” says Roger Fidler a former executive of the Knight-Ridder
newspaper chain, who is the designer of the new-style paper – dubbed an
EmPrint. If successful, the EmPrint version of The Missourian will
become permanent later this year. So far the response has been
favourable.

 

The New York Times is also dipping its toes into the new media.

It’s
investing more than $400m to acquire the Internet site called
About.com. a service that is visited by about 20 million people every
month, most of whom are not looking for news but practical advice on a
host of problems. It has been described as The Reader’s Digest of the
dot-com world, an on-line how-to-do-it reference guide.

Although
there are laws nowadays limiting what newspapers can invest in, there
is nothing to prevent them investing in the internet.

Already Dow
Jones, which publishes the Wall Street Journal , has invested $500m in
a company called MarketWatch, while The Washington Post has acquired
the on-line magazine Slate. Ironically the NY Times has decided to
scrap Circuits, a once-a-week supplement which for some time has
covered the high-tech world of computers, cameras and other digital
devices.

 

Magazines for the affluent continue to hit
the market here. In the wake of such new ones as The Centurion and
Washington Style ( Press Gazette 3 March) there is a new one just for
New Yorkers, called Absolute . It’s chock-full of ads for such crème de
la crème advertisers as Chanel, Lora Piana and Harry Winston. Its
backed by Carlos Yorka, a Spanish real-estate tycoon who already
publishes three magazines in Spain. Its editorial director is Caroline
Miller, the former editor of New York Magazine. What’s different about
Absolute is that it’s a giveaway. But you have to be a “shaker and
maker” to get on the mailing list.

 

Newsweek
is making no apologies for its faked-up picture of Martha Stewart on
its cover – the issue marking her release after five months in jail.
The cover picture appears to be a photo of the diva of domesticity –
but in fact it’s her face but a model’s body.

The idea, the
magazine explained, was to show how she appears now – slimmer and
stronger than ever. The magazine also pointed out that on Page Three,
alongside the table of contents, it made clear that the picture was a
composite. It was in fact described as a “photo illustration”. There
was no intention to mislead readers, insisted a spokeswoman. However,
some critics thought “image manipulation” in any shape is wrong –
perhaps not a serious ethical lapse, but a dumb idea nevertheless.

 

There was a time when Money magazine used to feature Wall Street
tycoons on its cover. But starting next month it is being transformed
from a get-rich-quick investment guide aimed mainly at a male audience,
to a family-oriented magazine that it’s hoped will appeal to women,
younger readers – and, of course, a broader swathe of advertisers. Time
Inc, which has been publishing Money since 1972, is spending $8m on the
make-over including a promotion that will include sending a sample copy
to more than a million affluent households who already subscribe to
other Time Inc publications.

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