More interesting than the re-evaluation of the paywall, is what traditional media outlets are doing with their legacy products.
All newspapers are planning some changes, some, though, are more radical than others. The Globe and Mail, for example, is converting to a high-gloss format in the fall that early speculation suggested might mimic a magazine (that’s since been clarified).
The Chicago Tribune is working on a premium edition inspired by Dave Egger’s pæan to the newspapers of old. The Chicago revamp, dubbed Five Star, has been likened as a grand response to online news in the same way CinemaScope was to early television.
On smaller scale, the daily trade magazine Hollywood Reporter will relaunch as a glossy publication published every week. In place of the daily print edition comes an electronic (PDF) edition supported more intense online coverage throughout the day.
This, more than any of the other grand experiments in paywalls and mobile experiments, strikes what could be an elegant balance between the quality of print and the quantity of online, in a way that may bridge the the revenue gap in the coming decade.
The public, having integrated the Internet into their lifestyle, has now integrated it into its news habits. Companies who can support the traditional model, while extend into future online formats, will having the most promising economic, and thus journalistic, advantages.