The fact is, mobile is the opportunity that papers have been waiting for. The PC—the bolt-upright, lean-forward experience—was never a good technology for journalism and was always going to be transitional. And laptops are only slightly better. The industry has waited a long time for something better to come along.

Now it has. Time to get cracking.

It’s true that newspaper companies have a much bigger job than startups—to transform what are essentially industrial operations into technology companies. And it’s easy to pick on them.

On the other hand, they have zero choice in the matter.

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Dean Starkman Dean Starkman runs The Audit, CJR's business section, and is the author of The Watchdog That Didn't Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism (Columbia University Press, January 2014). Follow Dean on Twitter: @deanstarkman.