All the news that fits

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Why is the newspaper industry crumbling? Is there a day coming, and soon, where we will no longer be able to sit down with our morning coffee and enjoy paging through the business section (or not enjoy it, as the case may be)?

As major dailies fall by the wayside, there are any number of analysts throwing dirt on  newspapers. We’ll all be reading on “Kindle-like” devices in five years, they say. Everyone gets their news from the Internet now. It has to be fast, right now, and easily downloadable and portable.

Maybe that’s true. Sounds like the people predicting the death of analog, though, doesn’t it? Yet, here we are, with 85-90 percent of new surveillance installs using analog cameras, albeit with IP backbones, or IP-connected DVRs, or a few IP cameras mixed into the system.

Delivering the news is a lot like that hybrid system so many of you are installing right now. You need to use the right communication method for the job.

The fact is, many of you continue to like the paper version of what we do, and so here you have every piece of information we could cram into 56 pages. We try to make it easily navigable, to the point, and informative. Many of you tell us you like to bring it on the plane with you - or into the bathroom.

However, it’s a little embarrassing that Pelco sold its access division before our March story saying it was going to sell the division even hit your desks. There’s a two-week lag time between when we ship to the printer and when you receive the issue. Not much we can do about that, other than invest in a majorly ramped-up printing and distribution system to rival USA Today.

For those of you who need information right away, the Web is definitely your best bet. The content there is timely, there’s way more of it, and you can search it, email it, comment on it, cut and paste it, basically do whatever you want with it. You can even sign up for our newswire and have it delivered to you via email every Thursday at noon Eastern.

Or maybe you’re really hip. You’ve got the RSS reader rolling and you’re notified as soon as we post anything to the site, be it a blog entry, new story with reporting, or even a new video.

Yes, video. I told you about this a few months back, but, honestly, I wasn’t sure if it was going to work. What does a writer like me know about interviewing people on camera? Was I going to need a make-up and wardrobe department?

But I’m really happy with the way it’s developed. It’s great to see the faces and hear the voices of the industry, and I encourage you to check out the videos online and visit us at ISC West booth 1129 to see the interviews recorded in person.

Newspapers may eventually die, but the news will continue. You just need to find the right integrator to deliver it for you.