There is lots of chatter flying around Twitter this morning about the new big-screen Kindle to be announced in May. Much of it is driven by this report in the New York Times about how some daily papers are pinning hopes to this.
It is false and potentially harmful hope, in that it may again give newspaper folks a sense of comfort that stifles will for the REAL INNOVATIONS that are needed.
Electronic display of the same old newspaper page is not going to be anyone's savior. It's still the same content in the same broadsheet-page package with the same old limitations and entirely the same faltering business model underlying it.
Anyone who won't pick up a printed newspaper for 50 cents is not going to buy a $500-$600 (estimated) big-screen kindle so they can read the newspaper. This will be a bridge technology adopted by some upper-middle-class baby boomers who already read the print newspaper and can afford a new toy. But the Kindle-like devices will not reach any of the markets that newspapers are losing to other online competitors.
As for the business model, it is not improved. Newspapers would still be planning to display ads on their Kindle pages from department stores (another dying business), and realtors and car dealers (who have nothing to advertise right now).
Newspapers need entirely new ways of covering communities, especially by getting the public involved and becoming the key online gathering spot for their local communities. Doing the same old thing on electronic paper won't cut it.