How iPad Will Affect Journalism

A new survey to answer the question, “What will the widespread adoption of the iPad mean for the journalism industry?” has been introduced by Digital Publishing and the Reynolds Journalism Institute.

Sales of the Apple iPad are expected to exceed those of PC in 2011. In spite of the tremendous number of iPads sold, there is little information about exactly how people are using the device.

The  survey project is designed to gain a better understanding of how the iPad and similar mobile devices may influence the future of journalism and news media.

The survey is available to all iPad users at http://rji.ipadsurvey.sgizmo.com/s3/.  The initial questionnaire is 20 questions. Participants who complete the survey and help out with follow-up surveys may be eligible for $10 iTunes gift cards.

The Reynolds Journalism Institute, part of the Missouri School of Journalism, engages media professionals, scholars and average citizens in programs aimed at improving the practice and understanding of journalism.

Roger Fidler, a journalist and newspaper designer for 34 years, is heading the project. He has been on the leading edge of online and digital publishing development and predicted the development of e-readers as long as a generation ago.

“What the newspaper industry desperately needs is a new vision for the 21st century—a vision that, as strange as it may seem, is not dependent on ink-on-paper printing.” Fidler said.

Fidler suggested that newspaper companies gear up to disseminate information through personal information organizers, such as the Blackberries, I-Phones and laptop computers of the present day. But publishers loved the print and ink of the newspaper too much to innovate with digital alternatives. .

Fidler, however, remains optimistic, contending that it is content, not technology, that can determine the success of new media.  And content is what newspapers do best.”

Also see: The Future is in the iPad by Laura Snyder

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