Will e-readers save newspapers?The vision of paperless newspapers is no longer a pipedream. Electronic paper displays in the form of mobile reading devices called e-readers are finally emerging as a viable "green" alternative to ink printed on pulp paper.

Three companies-Amazon.com, Sony and iRex Technologies-have been pushing paper-like e-readers into the consumer marketplace since 2006. Plastic Logic and Polymer Vision will soon begin selling e-readers with thin flexible displays. Several other companies are expected to join their ranks in 2009.

For newspaper publishers, the e-reader is not just another mobile device; it could be their salvation.

The rapid exodus of subscribers and advertisers from print to online has put enormous pressure on newspaper publishers in this first decade of the twenty-first century. Since 2000, publishers have seen steep declines in their revenues from printed editions combined with hefty increases in production and distributions costs. The market values of media companies have fallen so precipitously in the past few years that some of the world's leading newspapers are now in jeopardy.

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Roger Fidler  
Program Director for Digital Publishing (Retired)


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