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Who Are You Calling “Platform Neutral”? December 4, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.

I haven’t talked to the folks at the Journal directly, but in today’s letter from the publisher explaining the paper’s upcoming re-design, are some interesting — if a little puzzling — hints of on-off-line integration:

    But readers and online users say we should make the print and online Journal fit better together in your day. As the print Journal moves even more toward exclusive, “what it means” journalism, WSJ.com will be the place to go for “what’s happening right now” in business and markets. The digital medium is perfect for breaking news and for delivering great depth, across media.

Okay, makes sense to me.

    The Journal is most valuable starting your day with the print Journal, then going online for news updates, emailing articles, doing company research, efficiently searching what you need, watching video and seeing what other Journal readers say about the news. Our business aim is not to be “platform neutral,” indifferent as to whether you access our news in print or online: We want to be your all-day-long source across media. So after you prepare for your day by reading the Journal in print, be best informed by accessing the online, mobile and other digital versions of the Journal throughout your day.

Regular readers know I am a huge fan of optimizing content for its given medium. Don’t try to force a newspaper into an online format. But I don’t want print anymore. I sure hope I can get access to all that great “what it means” journalism in digital format. I’d even consider paying a teeny premium atop my current digital subscription — which is cheaper than a print subscription now — if absolutely necessary. But I don’t want a paper daily newspaper. Never again.

And I’m not the only one.

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