steve_jobs_1 Steve Jobs has been talking about the future of journalism at All Things Digital’s D8 conference. Saying that he does not want “to see us descend into a nation of bloggers,” he has some opinions on what can be done to “save” journalism.

"One of my beliefs, very strongly, is that any democracy depends on a free, healthy press," he said.  "Anything that we can do to help the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal find new ways of expression so they can afford to get paid, so they can afford to keep their editorial operations intact, I’m all for it."

Jobs believes people are willing to pay for content, and says Apple has found the key to moving content is aggressive pricing and volume. Given that the iTunes store revolutionized the e-music industry, I suppose he ought to know.

This brings up the interesting question of how one would apply it to the current spate of paywalls that are going up from Rupert Murdoch’s and other news sites. If you’re charging for access, you can’t exactly go for volume. He’s probably talking about charging for news in app form, in which case the magazines that are charging the same as print prices for their electronic issues still have a ways to go before they get there.

Jobs also said that he had been given a lot of encouragement to let the matter of Gizmodo paying to obtain a lost or stolen iPhone prototype slide, but felt it was important for Apple not to change its “core values.” “I can’t do that,” he said. “I’d rather quit.”


  1. If Jobs really means what he is quoted as saying (which I doubt), here is one remedy within his grasp: lend the NY Times and the Washington Post a billion dollars interest free to be paid back over a 99-year period. Or he could simply donate a few hundred million each to the newspapers. Jobs has lots of means at his disposal to ease the financial plight of newspapers but doesn’t do any of it because he sees no return on investment for himself. Altruism is not a Jobs trait.

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail