Jeff Jarvis, writing about Prince’s distribution of his new CD inside the London’s Sunday Mail says:
“it exploits the one last advantage of printing a paper on atoms and delivering them: distribution”
That’s not totally true. Each media type has several unique characteristics which can be used independently or in conjunction with online presence to extend the online into a physical experience.
For newspapers there’s distribution, locality, political / social identification (which come into play when the paper is read in public), as well as the social engagement that occasionally arises when accident, interest or expertise make citizens actors in the news. For TV its diverse thematic connections, story telling that models life aspirations and privacy. For radio its locality, mobility and personal connection with the announcer and other listeners.
What makes these characteristics important is that they form the basis of what can be unique media experiences where the online and the physical can be used independently or in conjunction.
It’s the ability of every media platform to transcend the online and situate it with in real physical relationships that will be the basis of its new identity and value.