*** Read about the Web blackout petition at this link *** Walter Isaacson, author of this week's TIME magazine cover story about saving newspapers, appeared as a guest Monday on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Isaacson makes a similar case to the one made in the petition to persuade newspapers (and the AP) to pull the plug on their non-pay-access Web sites for one week this summer. It's not about saving "newsprint." It's about saving newspapers as news-gathering organizations.
Jon Stewart's intro:
I couldn't think of a more worthy cause. I love the newspaper. There's nothing better ... but how do we do it?
A potential solution:
Jon Stewart: What about giving it more of a cable TV or a radio model ... because the aggregators are the ones. The Huffington Post ... the Drudge Report ... Those ones that link to the reporters, that don't do reporting of their own, but link.
Walter Isaacson: Right. The aggregators are getting the bulk of the ad dollars right now.
Jon Stewart: Right. Why not do licensing deals, like they're 'a radio station' and you're 'the artist.' Do it like 'hits' are 'spins,' and make those deals. Like it's a cable model. Or it's a radio model.
And that may explain why Web entrepreneurs like Ken Layne at Wonkette appear to be so upset that we're talking about this.
("The Daily Show" via The E&P Pub)
Related Event: SPJ/LA Panel Discussion, 6:30 pm Wednesday Feb. 18 — Imagine a City Without a Newspaper