Nieman Foundation at Harvard
Snapchat wants to slip a little news into teens’ social smartphone time
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Nov. 5, 2008, 4:43 p.m.

The last great day for the American newspaper?

My friend Tommy Tomlinson — Charlotte Observer columnist and current Nieman Fellow here — writes an idea that’s been churning in my head today:

I wonder if today was the last great day of the American newspaper. Printed copies sold out everywhere and lots of places (including my home paper in Charlotte) had extra press runs this morning and sold bookoodles of papers on the street. I’m thinking the printed paper will never have another day like this one.

I tried to pick up a New York Times this morning here in Cambridge — six stops, no papers. (A decent number of Boston Globes, though.) Gawker hit on this earlier today; as one commenter put it: “Actually, everyone’s just in line to get the historic LAST historic first NYT cover – by 2012 all it will be is the one-sheet they hand out for free at the gym.” For the record, if you want a copy of today’s NYT, the number for the back copy department is 800-543-5380. Here’s a photo of people standing on line at Times HQ this morning to buy a copy of the paper.

I never thought I’d type that sentence.

Tommy has another point:

I also wonder if the future of the print newspaper business might be based on commemoratives. Most of the people who bought today’s paper bought it as a keepsake — something that doesn’t translate to the Web. So maybe some webcentric paper of the near future puts out a print edition only for special occasions — the hometown football team makes the Super Bowl, the NASCAR race comes to town, a new president gets elected, etc.

POSTED     Nov. 5, 2008, 4:43 p.m.
Show comments  
Show tags
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Snapchat wants to slip a little news into teens’ social smartphone time
“A 19-year-old may not come across what the Iran deal is, but if it’s in their face in Snapchat, where they’re living all day, I kind of see that as a social good.”
The Worcester Sun wants to bootstrap paywalled hyperlocal digital into a Sunday print product
“We could use Sunday print to boost us into the stratosphere, to get us into a stable orbit where we can launch other things.”
Slate is taking steps to reduce its page load time by 75 percent
Slate Group vice chairman Dan Check discusses how Slate plans to speed up its site, how it’s thinking about ad blockers, and why it’s participating in platforms like Apple News.
What to read next
As giant platforms rise, local news is getting crushed
The quest for scale, driven by the distribution power of a few enormous technology platforms, is killing the business case for local news. Will anything take its place?
890What happened after 7 news sites got rid of reader comments
Recode, Reuters, Popular Science, The Week, Mic, The Verge, and USA Today’s FTW have all shut off reader comments in the past year. Here’s how they’re all using social media to encourage reader discussion.
699Facebook woos journalists with Signal, a dashboard to gather news across Facebook and Instagram
Signal helps journalists find, source, and embed content from Facebook and Instagram.
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
Global Voices
The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News
Creative Commons
West Seattle Blog
Mother Jones
The Daily