Dave Eggers, novelist and McSweeney’s editor, tells SpliceToday’s John Lingan (via mass email):
Pretty soon, on the McSweeney’s website, we’ll be showing some of our work on this upcoming issue, which will be in newspaper form. The hope is that we can demonstrate that if you rework the newspaper model a bit, it can not only survive, but actually thrive. We’re convinced that the best way to ensure the future of journalism is to create a workable model where journalists are paid well for reporting here and abroad. And that starts with paying for the physical paper….
That “starts with paying for the physical paper…” why? (I, like, SpliceToday’s Lingan, found myself wondering). More Eggers:
And paying for the physical paper begins with creating a physical object that doesn’t retreat, but instead luxuriates in the beauties of print. We believe that if you use the hell out of the medium, if you give investigative journalism space, if you give photojournalists space, if you give graphic artists and cartoonists space—if you really truly give readers an experience that can’t be duplicated on the web—then they will spend $1 for a copy. And that $1 per copy, plus the revenue from some (but not all that many) ads, will keep the enterprise afloat.
As long as newspapers offer less each day—less news, less great writing, less graphic innovation, fewer photos—then they’re giving readers few reasons to pay for the paper itself. With our prototype, we aim to make the physical object so beautiful and luxurious that it will seem a bargain at $1.