The students of the ‘Manhattan Project’

Following up on yesterday’s debate about the fate of newspapers, I had some of my journalism students get in groups and consider what they would suggest if they were to attend some kind of “Manhattan Project” designed to save newspapers, as Martin Langeveld suggested.

Here are a few of the groups’ ideas:

    * “Get public input and make the topic of saving newspapers official, not just scattered on blogs.”

    * “A web site for the ‘Manhattan Project’ where innovative and ‘young’ journalists can collaborate and voice their opinions”

    * “Take papers away for a week–see how much outrage (or not) there is” (That could be scary. What if there were very little outrage?)

    * “Pop-up newspapers–put art/craft things in there”

    * “Cheaper editions of papers, with ‘paper boys’ selling these editions on the street for 25 cents”

    * “Sell sections separately” and make newspapers “more like a book or magazine”

Several of the groups thought it would be a good idea to have some kind of a “reward system” for newspaper readers. One group suggested, “If you read newspapers, you turn it into a company, get a prize, recycle — like Pizza Hut Book It.”

One response that I as a former newspaper reporter who still loves to get the ink on my hands am having trouble bringing up follows:

“Let it die! The Internet is taking over. Sell ads online.”

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