New measures for new media

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Torin Douglas’ column, “Luddites struggle to hold back tide of digital evangelism” (MW September 25), laudable though it was, amply demonstrated the confusion that exists in the Internet and TV markets. It is important to recognise the basics.

The Internet is the electronic equivalent of the printed word. It is not in any shape or form competitive or equivalent to broadcast television.

The Internet will never be able to compete with broadcast television and frankly Internet publishers won’t want to. The Net is going to demolish and change print media forever and, in that respect, Douglas’ piece was making comparisons with the wrong media. Nigel Walmsley is also confused and doesn’t understand that digital TV is only a delivery mechanism and can be used for active or passive behaviour, depending on what the consumer wants to do.

In the same way that the FT is delivered by exactly the same process as the Beano – ink on paper – different types of consumer are reading them for entirely different reasons. So in the future will the consumer use the TV set for active and passive reasons, and sometimes together. We can’t use traditional thinking to evaluate new media.

Banking services and home shopping and other subscription services advertised in the classified pages of periodicals are going to drive the Internet forward. The real action is going to be nothing like we have seen to date. And that is the reason why some publishers, such as myself, have retired from print media forever. They know that the future of our great business lies elsewhere.

Tom Rubython

London W1

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