newspapers

So there’s this new online newspaper that has no reporters, no editors, no fact-checkers and no advertising salespeople. Local versions of it are available in New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Dallas and Los Angeles. It sends specially programmed robots out over Twitter to glean pertinent tweets and posts them automatically with the originally links intact.

It apparently has at least one human staff member, a guy named Jared to whom you are supposed to direct any “feedback” you’d like to share.

It’s called Tewspaper.

So this is it — the end of the newspaper as we know it, right? Well, not exactly.

See, despite the fact that it uses robots instead of reporters, there’s a good reason why it exists in those five cities — they all have robust newspapers that have embraced the online distribution system pretty aggressively, creating a ready inventory of localized content on Twitter. The upshot is, without real newspaper reporters posting tweets about their stories along with links to the online versions, Tewspaper could not exist.

So instead of replacing newspapers, Tewspaper serves as a kind of RSS feed of capsule summaries (less than 140 characters) of newspaper content. Indeed, it’s a shame the newwspapers didn’t think of it first — they might have been able to monetize the linkbacks. Oh, well ….

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