Green News

An interesting topic surrounding the online verses print debate is the issue of being ‘green’. Is reading the news online greener than reading your broadsheet? Well apparently it all depends on how long you spending reading your news.

 Columnist Brian Merchant from the Planet green section of the discovery website makes a valid point. You’re likely to use a decent amount of electricity whilst being online. However if you only scroll through the headlines then is it not best to do this online rather than waste paper that you will only partially read?

According to Matthew McDermott from tree hugger.com if it takes you 30 minutes to read the news, then it actually is no worse to print the newspaper than read the same amount of news online.

But, if that news only takes you 10 minutes to read then surely online reading comes out ahead.

In America the Department of Energy estimates the paper manufacturing industry is the nation’s fourth-largest emitter of carbon dioxide.

 Also we must consider environmental costs of transporting newspapers to newsstands, emissions from taking the used papers to re-cycling plants, and dare I say it to landfill sites.

 On the other hand it is estimated that an average server and desktop that make online newspapers possible consumes 4,505 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. So which is better? In my opinion the term swings and round abouts comes to mind.

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To free or not to free?

For over 10 years we have had free online news at the click of a mouse. As Murdock plans to implement charges for viewing his sites and others following in suit, what will this mean for online news?

 Many have already moved away from the daily broadsheet to getting the headlines off their iphones on their way to work.  We must consider whether these people will simply drop their news intake in an instant or reach again for the trusty ink stained sheets once more?

According to an American survey conducted in October 2009, only 48% of Americans said they would pay to view online news.

Closer to home a study found that as little as 5% percent of people in European countries such as Britain would be willing to pay for online news.

So when it comes down to the crunch are we Brits really ready to whip out our wallets for our morning news? Looking at the results from a study by the harris group, the answer is no. 

Mr Murdoch, chairman of News Corporation, said in a 2009 BBC interview that the conglomerate would “assert its copyright” over all its newspapers online in order to  prevent stories and photographs being copied.

  He said: “Our policy is to win and we will make our content better and differentiate it from other people, If we’re successful, we’ll be followed by other media.” 

 Mr Murdock is under the impression that people will be happy to pay for online news, according to Sophie Hammer from timeout London’s online magazine.

 He gave no idea of how people could be charged, although some critics have said there is likely to be either a pay per article or some form of subscription.

 He said he did not think charging was a risk, and that each of News Corp’s major papers had enough strengths to succeed online.

Murdoch said in another BBC news interview thatQuality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalizing its ability to produce good reporting”.

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Online verses Print world

You could be under the impression that online news has taken over the traditional print newspapers, however with only 3% of news reading being done online, is there any reason to think that the newspaper has seen its final days?

 

According to Journalist Martin Langveld the print world is ’still king’.

 However columnist David Pauly says in his blog ‘Newspapers are on fast, worrisome path to oblivion, that newspaper are on their way out, although there seems to be little evidence to suggest this.

 Pauly admits that after reading an article online about the stock market, the information for the article had been compiled from information from five newspapers.

In response to these views, blogger Richard Tofel makes an interesting point: “To say newspapers will be around forever in print is ridiculous.Is it still the end for print or will it make a hasty come back?

“Even if some hang on it, in 30 years or so, they’ll be dead.”  In my view, as much as I hate to admit it, he’s right!

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