Nieman Foundation at Harvard
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May 6, 2009, 12:10 p.m.

The Kindle DX won’t save the news industry, but that’s not the point: a guide to our coverage of e-readers

Amazon just unveiled a bigger, more expensive version of the Kindle that will, depending on whom you ask, “rescue newspapers” or just create “false hope.”

Though details weren’t immediately available, the new, $489 Kindle DX will be available at a subsidized price for those who buy digital subscriptions to The New York Times, Washington Post, or Boston Globe (where home delivery of the print edition isn’t available.) We’ve covered the Kindle and other e-readers extensively over the past six months. Here’s a guide to our coverage, including — after the jump — video from the E-Ink laboratory where the screens for these devices were developed:

In November, we revealed that The New York Times had “more than 10,000 paid subscribers” on the Kindle for revenue of roughly $1.7 million a year. (We also ranked how other newspapers were doing on the device.) In April, I covered plans by several major news organizations to repackage their multipart, investigative series into “digital newsbooks” for e-reader devices — but not the Kindle.

Meanwhile, Josh has written extensively about the Kindle’s potential to boost the news industry. (Magic Eight Ball version: “outlook not so good.”) His provocative column, “Why the Kindle will fail,” prompted some great discussion in the comments. More recently, he observed that the age demographics of Kindle owners is pretty similar to print newspapers. In presentations, one of Josh’s key points has been that the Kindle is “more valuable as a market divider than a value creator” because it separates out the small portion of readers who are willing to pay for content.

Finally, as promised, Ted got a tour of E-Ink headquarters and interviewed CEO Russ Wilcox, which he wrote about in February. Here’s the video he produced:

Photo of Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at today’s event, by Gizmodo.

POSTED     May 6, 2009, 12:10 p.m.
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