Big news indeed: Bermuda Sun journalist Sarah Lagan helped to 
demonstrate Augmented Reality at Rock Island Coffee on Wednesday. *Photo by Tony McWilliam
Big news indeed: Bermuda Sun journalist Sarah Lagan helped to demonstrate Augmented Reality at Rock Island Coffee on Wednesday. *Photo by Tony McWilliam

This week the Bermuda Sun introduced to the Island a piece of software that literally brings the newspaper to life.

It is a great piece of kit and while not a complete game changer, it will increase the competition for eyeballs, which is a good thing for the consumer and advertiser.

Around the world, newspapers are suffering from declining circulation caused by a combination of things, most notably the internet, which has splintered the number of sources available for the consumer to find the information (and I mean information) they need and are interested in.

No longer do newspapers talk of circulation — they talk of reach: that is the combined number of people they reach through print sales and web hits. 

Unquenchable thirst

To survive, newspapers must satisfy the readers’ unquenchable thirst for immediate news, providing up-to -the-minute coverage as it happens on the web (breaking news) and journalists must then also write for the print product the next day.

Often they are asked to take and edit videos or pictures, use their own Twitter or Facebook accounts and possibly even sub-edit pages. All this is against a backdrop of cutting costs (ie jobs.)

The result, inevitably, is a dilution in a. quality and b. the number of stories the journalist is able to cover (when was the last time anyone can remember a serious piece of investigative journalism? Not just here… anywhere?)

While the innovation introduced by the Bermuda Sun — a clever combination of the traditional and new — clearly has immense potential for advertising revenue, it also has immense potential to vastly improve the editorial experience for a reader.

It could help put the local newspaper back at the centre of the community — a place it once ruled and ruled because it was the main source of information (again, I stress information) about that community.

People tend to love to hate the local paper, it’s a pastime, I know, I’ve seen it, and had heated arguments about it.

But if a local paper is not the heartbeat of its community, it surely measures its pulse. While the internet satisfies that thirst for immediacy, this has the potential to reinvent journalism for the good of the community. 

What do you think? Email jdeacon@northrock.bm or tweet with him @jeremydeacon1

Bermuda Blue
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