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Joel McCotter
Lives in Houston, TX
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Joel McCotter

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I think this articulates the problems facing newspapers very well. The statement that reader subscriptions are not paying for the news itself, but rather the distribution model (printing presses, paper, delivery), showing the folly of a paywall in the online world, is a good one.

The other statement to take home is that newspapers no longer have a monopoly on aggregation (news, comics, horoscopes, classifieds, restaurant reviews, movie listings, etc). The newspaper industry missed the boat on providing these services to readers in the online world, which has greatly devalued the importance of newspapers in the life of the average person. You all know the various places you can find this information now, and the papers are never going to claw this back.
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The linked to article and pertinent quote:

http://www.shirky.com/weblog/2012/05/warren-buffetts-newspaper-purchase/

"It is disruptive competition for ad dollars, not changing reader engagement, that has sent the industry into a tailspin."
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Joel McCotter

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Lost in a lot of the news about Apple's new push into textbooks is the fact that a lot of the contractual terms for publishers and schools are very restrictive, and the intended effect is to lock these institutions into the Apple ecosystem. If I were an educational institution, this isn't a commitment I'd be willing to make.
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The only things that might force this is pressure from the outside, whether it's from universities, publishers, or competitors. While I doubt we'll see a textbook format sans DRM, it should at least be cross platform, and based on an open standard. State school systems should demand it, and I hope that enough of them have the foresight to understand why. The issue is that there aren't any major competing platforms, and there aren't many other companies out there with the vertically integrated nature and corporate culture to provide a complete end-to-end platform like this. A decent competiting platform would give k-12 school systems and universities some leverage that could force Apple to open up.
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