Newspapers going digital in 20 years, textbooks – by August, 2009

Two interesting pieces of news surfaced recently:

Rupert Murdoch, the chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, gave a speech on Sunday titled “The Future of Newspapers: Moving Beyond Dead Trees.” Here are some interesting excerpts from it, courtesy of The E&P Pub:

What we call newspapers today, I call ‘news organizations,’ journalistic enterprises, if you will.  They’re the source of news. And people will reach it if it’s done well, whether they do it on a Blackberry or Kindle or a PC.

I can see the day maybe 20 years away where you don’t actually have paper and ink and printing presses. I think it will take a long time and I think it’s a generational thing that is happening. But there’s no doubt that younger people are not picking up the traditional newspapers.

Personally I could bet that newspapers will stop using XV century technology sooner than 20 years from now in most of the industrial world. It will be the same story as with film cameras being replaced by digital. The new technology is going to become much cheaper and it is already more convenient to use. Personally I always hated to unfold and page though newspaper although I suspect Murdoch was referring to “younger people” who are younger than I am… Yes, Kindle may cost $359 or $489 today but lets not forget that in 1990 0.0768 megapixel black-and-white digital camera cost $1,000.

Over in California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced initiative to make digital textbooks for subjects such as geometry, algebra , trigonometry, calculus, physics, chemistry, biology, life science and earth science available to high-school students by August, 2009 when new school year begins.

Currently California is in the middle of financial crisis facing 24 billion dollar budget deficit. According to the official announcement with textbooks costing $75..100, a school district with 10,000 students can save up to 2 million dollars.

Official press release can be found here.

Arnold Schwarzenegger On Digital Textbooks
Arnold Schwarzenegger On Digital Textbooks
Rupert Murdoch

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