Interview: Mario Garcia: ‘Print Is The Mother Milk Of The Tablet’

Dr. Mario Garcia is dapper, elegant — and as blunt as a sword that has been used to hack a tree when it comes to what it will take to change some newsroom attitudes. “We will probably have to wait for many editors to die, some may be younger than me,” he said as he opened a two-day conference on the Power of the Tablet at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies this week. (For the record, Garcia is 63 and the grandfather of 11.)

During his keynote, Garcia told news organizations they are already behind if they don’t have or aren’t planning a tablet edition — and should have one by the end of the year — but added, “Does it mean print is on the way out? Not at all. … The tablet is the brother or sister to print like online never was.”

Garcia, who believes tablets will be the platform of choice for a growing number of users, would like to see newsrooms appoint a dedicated tablet edition editor; he’d also like to have a creative planner at each newspaper and magazine working on the role of print. He’s not aware of any newsroom with either in place.

Garcia spoke with paidContent about these ideas, Apple’s relationship with news orgs, and the tablet beyond iPad as the conference wrapped up. The brief video is embedded below; click here for the HTML5 version and here for the MP3.