In last week's TIME Magazine comes this very interesting article. It is an essay by Walter Isaacson on what he believes the future of print journalism should do to adapt to the times of all newspapers and magazines being offered online, for free, as well as the traditional hard copy print manner.
Isaacson is the former Chairmen and CEO of CNN and also served as the Managing Editor of TIME. He is currently the President and CEO of the Aspen Institute, which is a nonpartisan educational and policy studies organization based in Washington D.C.
Isaacson believes that certain newspapers and magazines should start charging for their content by different sorts of micropayments by the user. He says the best way to make these micropayments successful would to have an E-ZPass way of payment. E-ZPass as in the way commuters in the New York State area pay for tolls on the highway system (Or I-Pass in the Illinois area). Each time someone passes through a certain point then their prepaid account automatically gets charged.
It is very intriguing idea. I don't believe that this system would work on the web right at this moment. But regardless, something does need to be done to help save print journalism from falling ad revenue and lower subscription rates for some of today's newspapers and magazines.