Those of us who are in the newspaper business could not be blamed for hoping that someone like him comes along and ruins our business as well by pulling the same trick: convincing the millions of interested readers who get their news every day free on newspapers sites that it’s time to pay up.
For a long time, newspapers assumed that as their print advertising declined, it would be intersected by a surging line of online advertising revenue. But that revenue is no longer growing at many newspaper sites, so if the lines cross, it will be because the print revenue is saying hello on its way to the basement.
Steve Jobs raised the hopes of media executives everywhere — including, no doubt, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, who made some opening remarks before the Apple founder took the stage — by saying he believes people will pay for other forms of media, just as they have been paying for movies and music. This is the closest Jobs has come to endorsing the “iTunes for news” model that many newspaper and magazine publishers have dreamed about. The Apple CEO said: