Journalism Prof: With Apple’s release of iPhone, iPod touch, newspapers hit their iPod moment

“In these pages, internet parent Vint Cerf wondered when television would reach its iPod moment – that is, the time when we download video more than we sit watching broadcasts. Then TV will face the upheaval music has barely survived. Also here, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has speculated about newspapers’ iPod moment, which he foresees arriving with the emergence of “a relatively mass-market device on which reading a newspaper (and watching it and listening to it) will seem quite normal”. Or as Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams blogged: ‘When you have a web browser in your pocket, a printed newspaper is redundant,'” Jeff Jarvis writes for The Guardian.

MacDailyNews Note: Jeff Jarvis is a journalism professor at the City University of New York.

“Well, I think the iPod moment is here. It arrived with the latest iPod and its off shoot, the iPhone. The momentousness of this event was lost, I think, because Apple made a mistake in its release of the latest iPods in the US. Apple first released the iPhone and then announced the almost identical but phoneless iPod Touch. The problem was that we came to see this new device first and foremost as a phone with a few added features. But if Apple had released the iPod Touch first – as it has done in the UK – we would have seen that this gadget is really a whole computer with wi-fi connectivity, a web browser that has the ability to download and display – and also capture and share – all media: text (I just met an author who’s releasing his novel on the iPod), photos, audio, video, interactivity. The iPhone is then merely the same computer with a telephone added,” Jarvis writes.

Full article, in which, among other things, Jarvis looks at the challenges the newspaper business faces, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Macaday” for the heads up.]


  1. Well, the author is not taking into account the fact that Apple was probably obligated or at least a duty to make good on their promise to AT&T;to deliver the iPhone first. Releasing the iPod touch would have been disastrous, robbing the iPhone of its aura of high technology and introducing all the new technology on a less capable device.

    Seeing as how the iPhone brings in more cash, it also makes more sense for Apple to make a bigger deal of the iPhone.

  2. so if apple like this moment why not putting stream-printing on the iphone via wi-fi is like copy just a little bit of the newton has in those days but with more things in it,drivers for it whould be nice and then the phone can make the same things as PDA but via wi-fi.

  3. I not only still read newspapers, I have increased my reading of printed material and reduced on-line reading. I read my local newspaper and the Wall Street Journal every day. Wall Street Journal contains lots of in-depth information and is wonderful once you look past their worship of money. Even though the WSJ printed material is duplicated on their web site, I find I read much fewer articles when on their web site than I do in print. Many times I would never bother to click on a headline, but when the article is on paper I quickly skim the first paragraph or two and often find enough interest to read the rest of the article.

    As nice as the iPhone and iPod Touch are, they need much larger screens (while retaining the high dots per inch) to come close to the convenience of newspapers. You still need compelling, well organized content. The ratio of information to garbage is pretty poor on most web sites.

  4. While the author may be correct, what the general public was clamoring for and expecting was the iPhone. The shine would have been off of the iPhone if Apple had introduced the iPod Touch first. Then the iPhone would have just been an iPod Touch with a phone component. Much better for Apple to have the iPod Touch be an iPhone without the phone.

    Also, while I use my iPhone to do some web browsing, I’m not going to replace reading news on my Mac with my iPhone. The screen is just too small. To have something that I would use daily to read news, watch more video, etc., I would want a significantly larger screen.

    We’re talking a Mac/iPhone tablet here, and I doubt we’ll see one for a year or more. I don’t think it’s economically feasible right now to have a 4″x6″” or larger screen with good battery life and other features at this time. The price of the unit would be too great, so component costs would have to come down first. However, Apple will eventually get one.

  5. This is an extremely interesting article based on my own experience with iPhone. I am constantly using to look things up on the web or using it as a phone and almost never listen to music or watch video. The ability to have the internet in your pocket is the true magic of the device and can no longer imagine being without it. It is a game changer.

  6. I do like the occasional Times for the x-word, and the ladies and I graze happily (like an amiable family of wildebeeste on the African plain) on the endless pages of the Sunday Times, with its luscious sections and sheer feelability. Also, of course, I can take bits into the bath for my Sunday evening wallow-until-wrinkled time ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  7. I watch everything now through my Apple TV. Even stuff I’ve Recorded to my Mac using Eye TV is save to iTunes and we watch it using an Apple TV. I don’t even have the tuners in the TVs connected any more. My Elgato HD Tuners connected to the satellite dish and the outside UHF aerial records Local News, Shows and Movies we want to watch encodes and saves them to iTunes on a Mac Mini (the PodCasts that we watch like DL TV, Tekzilla, Tiki Bar TV and some others are also downloaded on that system). The 2 Apple TVs are set the sync to the Mac Mini. After we watch a show or podcast it’s removed from the Apple TVs and will be deleted from iTunes on the Mac Mini to eventually unless it’s one I save using an Apple script that makes a copy of selected shows for archiving (like “Dinner with the Band’).

  8. The problem was that we came to see this new device first and foremost as a phone with a few added features. That was necessary marketing to get it past the dinosaurs, FCC, Senator Hatch etc.

    Newspapers are miniature toxic waste repositories. Anyone here noticed the noxious odor they emit especially when fresh? Lots of people do and report symptoms of health problems. There’s barely any regulations about what goes in to inks and of course they are very widely distributed. Soya oil is widely used, and of course it is GM, people don’t know, some still put it in to the compost!

    One of the great things about reading news on the web is the sheer variety of sources, a couple of dozen newspapers in one sitting is not that many. It is most interesting to see how news and your country is viewed from other parts of the world. The US – UK centric world view is not the only one, not always right (far from it often) but it is not heard about in local press, even The (UK) Guardian. Civilization actually started in Iran, they still have quite a lot. Lebanese are often very widely traveled intelligent folks, it’s good to hear different points of view, especially those that expand your understanding.

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