PressDisplay - a great way to scan the newspaper Monday, March 17, 2008
Most of my reading of newspapers I do online, the Economist being a notable exception. Whilst I might flick through a paper left on a train, I rarely buy a newspaper during the week with only infrequent purchases at weekends.
Whilst there is something delightful about flicking the pages and reading unexpected topics that you might not have "clicked" to online, I do enjoy the opportunity to read around a story that interests me in one online source by drawing on wider sources. However, I acknowledge that I will miss stories that might have been of interest simply because of online layouts. Indeed, I've often thought it a pity that newspapers don't publish their content online in newspaper layout, in parallel to that they use today. On the front page of the website, you could be offered the option to switch between online and newsprint formats. This should have a trivial impact on costs given that all newspapers are created within DTP environments in the modern era and rendering the newsprint format to the web should be straightforward, even if as a flash output ala Scribd.
Today served up a delight therefore when I stumbled on PressDisplay.com which serves up newspaper output from 500 newspapers in 70 countries in 37 languages. As well as delivering the content though, you can see thumbnails of the papers similar to a pdf, but also audio of the text. Much of the content requires a subscription to read in full [charged by the underlying titles one presumes], but as a free user you can see the headlines of all the titles and read two articles from every paper daily. Whilst it doesn't have all the titles you may want, it's still an impressive inventory.
Similar to Google news, it also manufactures a "front page" and consolidates similar stories from multiple sources. Impressive site with a clear business model, albeit looking at the titles I wonder if a user might simply navigate to the underlying newspaper website and avoid the charges levied.