Digital Newspapers Coming Soon- Does Anyone Care?

Many of us have become quite comfortable reading our newspaper at breakfast on a laptop screen, albeit with the occasional butter on the touchpad. But the newspaper companies are still dreaming about the electronic substitute that would end their struggle with rising production and delivery costs.It would also be far greener, saving thousands of trees and tons of fossil fuels.

Eric Taub writes in New E-Newspaper Reader Echoes Look of the Paper in the New York Times, that "Plastic Logic will introduce publicly on Monday its version of an electronic newspaper reader: a lightweight plastic screen that mimics the look — but not the feel — of a printed newspaper."

Richard Archuleta, the chief executive of Plastic Logic, said the display was big enough to provide a newspaperlike layout. "Even though we have positioned this for business documents, newspapers is what everyone asks for," Mr. Archuleta said."


Plastic Logic, the Sony Reader and the Kindle.

Taub writes: "If e-newspapers take off, the savings could be hefty. At the The San Francisco Chronicle, for example, print and delivery amount to 65 percent of the paper's fixed expenses." However he notes that papers "face a tough competitor: their own Web sites, where the information is free. And they have trained a generation of new readers to expect free news."

That generation is also no longer used to getting its information from one source, but takes it from many. The growth of RSS readers has explosively multiplied the sources of news for readers. A quick survey of TreeHugger contributors (not exactly a typical cross-section) showed them having between 151 and 236 separate news feeds.

E Ink says that the readers will get better quickly, and that by 2010 they will have a production version that delivers newspaper-like color. It might well be an answer to a problem that can no longer be solved- how do you save the idea of a newspaper in a world with so many choices. ::New York Times and ::Wired
More on E-readers and electronic paper in TreeHugger:
Electronic Books: The Next Chapter
Sony Reader: Is the Dead Tree Edition Dead Meat?
French Newspapers Get Together to Sell Digital Reader
TreeHugger Picks: Electronic Reading with E-Books and Readers ...

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