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Print 2.0: Complement

If they’re going to truly embrace online content, newspapers and magazines need to figure out how best to complement online offerings in print. What’s one of the primary advantages of print vs. online? Portability. I need a computer and (usually) an Internet connection to read something online, but I can read a print product just about anywhere. Papers and magazines need to think about what aspect of the story is better presented on paper than online and focus on those points in print. Wide tables of election results with numerous callouts, community observations, etc., are better presented in a newsprint format than they are online; I’m not talking about a simple table, but rather one that looks like it’s been marked up by the expert reporters and editors with all sorts of commentary and perspective. That same content can be presented in a different, more interactive format online, but only a large surface like a newspaper page can effectively display all the results at once.

Blogs aren’t easily replicated in print, and there’s probably no reason to anyway, but why not use your resources to create a great blog directory with editorial opinion, insight, etc.? I could easily see this as a valuable and significant section of any newspaper, for example. There are so many blogs out there, and more created every day; why not help your readers uncover some of the better blogs and let your reporters add their two cents? The growing directory could be a dynamic online component, but what I’d really like to see are the local reporters reviewing, critiquing and recommending blogs in all the popular categories; even if only 2 or 3 are showcased every day in print it would be a huge leap forward.

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