..... MediaNews Group, the nation’s fourth-largest newspaper chain, said it would test a customized newspaper service this summer at The Los Angeles Daily News, one of the 54 dailies owned by the company.
The service, which allows readers to pick and choose only the stories that interest them, ..tailor their news consumption to their own tastes. But MediaNews’s experiment, .. has an old media twist: dead trees and a new piece of hardware for your home. “I-News is really about choice,” said Peter R. Vandevanter, vice president for targeted products at MediaNews. “We’ll let the reader decide what they want to read and on what platform.”
MediaNews has been working with a technology company — Mr. Vandevanter would not say which one — to develop a proprietary printer for a reader’s home. It would receive and print a subscriber’s customized newspaper — with targeted advertising. It is unclear if subscribers will pay extra for the printer, or if it will be part of the subscription fee. “The business model doesn’t have the finishing touches on it,” Mr. Vandevanter said.I wonder who is making the printer, what paper sizes it supports and what technology it uses. Presumably a new cheap technology like HP Edgeline or Silverbrook Memjet is required to hit the price points.
On the Web, at various journalism blogs and news sites, the idea was greeted with skepticism and even ridicule. At the Nieman Journalism Lab, part of Harvard’s Nieman Foundation, a blogger related it to the many failed experiments years ago to market a fax newspaper, the first of which was in 1939 in St. Louis. “Why on earth would MediaNews want to try this all over again?” wrote Martin Langeveld on Nieman’s blog. Mr. Vandevanter said MediaNews’s project is no fax newspaper redux. “With the old fax there was no way to personalize it,” he said.