I wrote a post some time ago about the fact that newspapers were still in the dark-ages and that in order for them to survive. I still hold by that.
With generation X coming through and their greater reliability on electronic information and delivery via alternative devices. Newspapers have to do something in order to keep their audience. Otherwise it is curtains for them. After all why would I want news that is old in a newspaper when I can read it as it happens via RSS or a webpage? Not only that I can read the news on-line and start discussing it straight away! These are very real issues that confront newspapers and they ignore them at their peril.
Which is why it is good to see that one newspaper has realised this and is doing something about it. The New York Times has just released Times Reader. Read the newspaper electronically. As the original blog post points out the details are as yet sketchy as far as the service being free or will have premium content available at a price. As far as paying for it, I think it will be a reach to get people to pay for a service when the information can be sourced from elsewhere for free. Although if they can offer some killer functionality or some other service for a small fee it might work. So I would wager that you can expect in time for it to be full of advertising. How else does a publication make money?
Check out the original article for all the details and some great screen shots. I guess this is not of much use if you live somewhere like Australia, but it is a great example of a newspaper looking to the future and banking on it being a very different world in the very near future.