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Tablet Newspaper (1994)

Knight-Ridder produced a video in 1994 demonstrating their faith in the tablet newspaper of the future. Below is the video in its entirety.

We may still use computers to create information but we'll use the tablet to interact with information.

The expert of the video insists that newspaper loyalty will not disappear with the digital age:

Many of the technologists.....assume that information is just a commodity and people really don't care where that information comes from as long as it matches their set of personal interests. I disagree with that view. People recognize the newspapers they subscribe to.....and there is a loyalty attached to those.

In short, "the technologists" were right. Newspaper companies are suing Google because their readers are less loyal than ever and simply want trustworthy news, whatever the source.

You can download this video at the Open Video Project.

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Reader Comments (20)

Look at the close-ups of the bearded expert in 1994:
every time he denies the impact digital news might have on the popularity of printed papers, his eyes shift sideways!

May 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterA.R.Yngve

And then there was Clarke's "Newspad" in "2001: A Space Odyssey".

In related news, the new postal rates will hit small magazines and publications harder than the big ones. One publisher was decrying how unfair it all was on the radio this morning. Hey, go online, web-only, subscription based and ignore the PO. It seems to be working for Baen Books and their SF eZine Jim Baen's Universe (he says, having just renewed his subscription for another six issues).

May 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterFred Kiesche

Good point, and I think struggling magazines must rethink how to reach their customers... or perish.

(I ran into this problem way back in the early 1990s, when I had to search the local newsagents to get an imported computer-game magazine which arrived -- late -- by ship from the UK. Ironic: a mag about computer games could not be read digitally! :))

May 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterA.R.Yngve

I was a little disappointed when I discovered you weren't referring to a newspaper that could be swallowed as a pill. Because such a thing would be great to go with your breakfast in a pill. Oh, well.

May 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterNeal" REL="nofollow">Roger Fidler has a lot less hair today than he did 13 years ago.

May 15, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAaron T.

Reading Magazines?

Already ahead of you!


Cool blog by the way,

May 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterWhatley

But we do have tablet computers. We have for about six years. And now we have even smaller UMPCs, tablet computers the size and weight of a paperback book.

May 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBob

My father worked for Knight Ridder for nearly all of his working life, finally retiring about 10 years ago as one of the heads of production. I remember many nights when as a kid, he would finally come home very late as they shifted from "hot type" to "cold type" and hearing him speak about the mess. He was was ahead of his time in regard to where newspaper production was headed. I give the organization kudos for at least being open to the idea of change. I will pass on your blog link to him.
Thank you.

May 21, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteralphabunny

It amazes me how they completely missed the 24 hour news cycle - "you'll download the paper every morning"

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Oh no!
It's an iPad!
They where right!

February 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJust someone

Apple are getting iffy at Samsung why? Once again Apple rip an idea and get all narky about others ripping it too...

April 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMart

What is a "newspaper"?

April 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGlen Campbell


Another awesome future-prediction-type video:

Apple may have always been ahead of the curve, or maybe they just got lucky and executed the concept better than everyone else.

April 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersethotron

They were right about the Ipad AND Twitter!

April 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike

1:38 "Vatican Blasts Lesbian Mothers" LOL.

April 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterB

This guy is the media companies' Miles Bennett Dyson.

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Lamb

Is that David Pogue in the first few seconds of the video? If it is him, I find it strange he hasn't discussed this... or maybe just a look alike....

April 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermarco martinez

They even nailed the part where dude is busy reading stuff on his iPad and won't pay attention to his wife, who forlornly stabs at her lunch as she is ignored.

April 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbork

News only if youse a chile, chile. Yeah, Knight Ridder saw what was coming, only they got there way before the technology did, and because they didn't look at what usenet and the other various -nets were doing, they didn't really conceive of beaming anything but their own newspaper to the device, just weren't open enough about it. I'm sure they had engineers who tried to sell openness but couldn't; after all, there wasn't much to be open to.

Apple tried later with a tablet called Newton, but again, there wasn't really content for it; it was pda/notebooklike. It was just a step forward in the tablet form.

Nooks, Kindles, POD, etc. were foreseeable by '98, and some in the book industry were watching. The prob at the time was e-reader tech. But KR was important in shoving print industries in that direction; it wasn't a totally novel idea when others came around to it later. They were quite serious about it, too, really wanted to deliver newspapers that way.

July 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteramy


August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBIG DEAN

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