For every mob of journalists shrieking about the demise of print, there is this guy: Joshua Karp. He's the founder and funder of The Printed Blog, the "world's first" daily newspaper comprised entirely of blogs and other user-generated material.
Sure, the concept of producing output based solely on the work of citizen journalists has been done before, but this times it's different. Karp is taking things off of the web and putting them in print.
The Print Industry According to Karp
Not surprising, Karp doesn't agree that the print industry is dying. Far from it, he's hoping that his twice-daily free print newspapers will be just the thing to engage readers across the country in perusing localized blog posts.
However, the initiative is more than an attempt to make ink-stained fingers popular again. The real hope is that the hyperlocal content will attract local advertisers who can spend less to reach out to their target audience.
Coming Soon to a Location Near You
Scheduled to launch January 27, the paper will be found in three transit stations around Lincoln Park and Wicker Park in Chicago, one location in San Francisco and with a New York edition to follow.
The Printed Blog aims to automate the production process by aggregating the stories into the separate editions, with the ability for readers to vote on which blogs appear in the next issue. It will also host classified ads.
While some bloggers have turned down the opportunity to have their words in print, many others, including photographers are eager for the opportunity to gain exposure. The paper is primarily focused on bloggers who write "compelling content in a variety of areas" like finance, education and politics, all of which can gain interest at a local level.
There's Still Life Left in Print
While part social experiment, part publishing mayhem, The Printed Blog has nothing to lose. Karp is fighting the good fight by just admitting that there is still some fight left in the print industry.
Already written off by many, it may be time for the old media to put some of this new media to good use.