Newspapers increase use of co-opetition practices

U.S. newspapers are increasing their use of co-opetition practices, that is, cooperating with competitors to reduce costs, create synergies, or reduce risk in new markets. Such activities are permissible if they are not designed to create cartels or control prices for advertising or circulation.

The latest example occurred this week when the Boston Herald announced an agreement with the Boston Globe for its competitor to print and deliver the Herald. The move creates cost savings for the Herald by allow it to cut printing, trucks, and delivery perronnel, while simultaneously creating production and distribution economies and an additional revenue stream for the Globe--a win-win for both companies.

Such service agreements do not violate antitrust laws because the papers remain independent, set their own prices, and create their own content. If papers were to engage in such actions they would have to apply for an antitrust exemption under the Newspaper Preservation Act (see John C. Busterna and Robert G. Picard, Joint Operating Agreements: The Newspaper Preservation Act and its Application. Ablex, 1993), but those agreements have not proven successful in the long run.

The Boston agreement comes on the heels of numerous printing agreements, including that of the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, that have been made among publishers in the last couple of years.

Another example of co-opetition is seen in the 59 newspaper and information companies—including New York Times Co., McClatchy Co., Washington Post Co., E.W. Scripps Co., A.H. Belo, and Associated Press—that have now banded together to create NewsRight to track use of digital content and ease its licensing. By cooperating with each other, the companies have brought more than 800 content sites into the operation and created a significant player in the digital industry.

Daily newspaper companies have historically disliked cooperation unless it was absolutely necessary—as in the case of news services. The new types of cooperation emerging show that the preference to go it alone is being eroded by contemporary financial conditions and the difficulties of operating independently in the digital environment.

Nikon D4 - 5 Years in the Making

As someone who has been a long time Nikon user, I have spent the last 5 years blissful in my use of the Nikon D3, and then, when I needed video, the D3s. I too have had (and still do) a line of Canon lenses and cameras for some time - which was my answer to the failings of the D2X until the D3 came out. I know that there have been some folks who felt a demand and desire for the larger D3x files, however, for my applications, the extra size wasn't critical for me.

I encourage you to take a read of Joe McNally's blog here, for his take on the amazement of the camera - I think he and I are on the same wavelength in that we both saw the D3 as the answer to our needs. The D4, seems to be the answer to our dreams. Rob Galbraith has an exhaustive review of the specs, and comparisons to the previous D3 line, which is well worth a read, here. And a head-to-head on the D3 v. EOS 1D X (interesting - the " " (space) otherwise defines the EOS 1D X against the old old Nikon 1DX. You'd have thought Canon would have thought about that) appears here. Nikon Rumors has a comparative spec sheet here.

Corey Rich put together a really exceptional video here:

Because of Vimeo compression has some purists asking questions, all of which are answered by the fact that Vimeo has compression limitations. Rich promises a behind-the-scenes video next month, and at some point the uncompressed version will be available that will put to rest the questions being asked.

We look forward to getting our hands on a D4 once there are more than 10 of them in the world (an interesting insight gleaned from Rich's comments on his video) and it can be used outside of a conference room (as indicated by the PDN blog post here).

(Continued after the Jump)

Here are a collection of videos we like that give you more insights into the camera. And, if you want to pre-order one online, you can sign up to be notified of it's availablity on Amazon here.

Nikon D4 Product Tour here:

Wireless shooting with iPad here:

Nikon Movie - I AM PUSHING THE LIMITS here:

Nikon D4 Menu Walk-Through here:

David Hobby, Mr. Strobist himself, has decided he is Bailing on the Nikon D4. He's gone, instead, going for a used medium format camera. He's spent $10k to make the leap, and for what it seems like from what he's described, it works for him.

One point that David made in his post was " If I were still shooting daily sports, I'd probably be lining up to preorder this camera just like everyone else." Frankly, there isn't so much of a market for this now, to be honest. Ask any sports photographer and they will tell you that there's no money in sports photography, thanks to the likes of US Presswire, Cal Sport Media, Icon, and so on. Unless, of course, you're staff somewhere, or just so happen to have a sweet contract with a major sports magazine. A freelancer who shoots sports will have to be selling internal organs to be able to afford this camera - not because the camera's too expensive - it's not - but because they just don't have the money. However, if you're staff, you'll just put in for your next camera to be a D4, and hope you have a friendly editor who will let it through - or orders you a D3 now while you can still get them.

For anyone who is in Nikon, the notion of switching to Canon is really now a non-starter, if they were thinking that. If you own a D3, you will eventually own the D4 if for no other reason than you'll need to upgrade your camera in a few years, and with a 5 year cycle for new bodies, the D5 won't be out when you need the D4. The multimedia, for so many reasons, does trump the Canon, and I am interested to try out all my Nikon primes on the D4.

Lastly, consider the cost-justification. If the life-cycle of the D4 is 5 years, that's 60 months. At $100 a month ($200 a month if you have a backup camera, which you should) if you can't justify a $100 a month expenditure for the primary tool you use to create your images, then are you really a professional? It's a tool, and if you need it, then buy it. If, however, you are considering it as just the latest and greatest toy, then don't. Thankfully, if you're a member of Nikon Professional Services, they were kind enough to send out an email to facilitate working professionals getting the camera before all the non-professionals.

* Note - We have, in the past, been a sponsored speaker by Nikon through professional organizations.

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