Jesse Jackson Jr. says iPad is killing publishing, costing jobs

Close up of an iPad in a man's hand. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is clearly visible on the touchscreen display.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. owns an iPad but says it destroys jobs. (Photo Credits: Jackson: CC BY-ND/Selmarkblog; CC BY-SA/John.Karakatsanis/Flickr)

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) was for the iPad before he was against it. Just one month ago, Jackson lauded Apple’s groundbreaking tablet as a revolutionary educational tool. On Friday, however, iPad owner Jackson turned around and exclaimed before Congress that the iPad is a dangerous device that is “probably responsible for eliminating thousands of American jobs,” reports the Huffington Post.

The iPad will kill publishing, says Jackson

The recent bankruptcy of Borders Books and the sea change toward textbookless campuses has the junior congressman from Illinois up in arms today, and the iPad is the catalyst.

“What becomes of publishing companies and publishing company jobs?” Jackson asked the House. “What becomes of bookstores and librarians and all of the jobs associated with paper? Well, in the not-too-distant future, such jobs simply won’t exist.”

Jackson also objected to China being the primary production source of iPad parts.

“There is no protection for jobs here in America to ensure that the American people are being put to work.”

Biting the hand that feeds the US

Business Insider points out that Jackson is not considering the wealth the iPad has generated – not only for Apple, but a wide variety of industries. MarketCues suggests that the iPad will prove to be the nexus from which a number of billion-dollar industries could conceivably spring. E-readers and the iPad provide publishers with myriad opportunities to create interactive textbooks while greatly reducing the costs of producing frequent new editions, a boon for students.

Traditional publishing is an old technology in need of evolution, suggests @Craigmod. The lessened environmental impact of digital publishing coupled with convenience and immediacy that e-books provide translates into good will plus e-commerce transactions. More than 65 percent of iPad owners use the device to read e-books, and the iPad generates more than $2 billion in total revenue per quarter, according to Morgan Stanley.

The revolution will be tablet-televised

Publishers must adapt to the revolution and not flip-flop like Jesse Jackson Jr. Amazon already sells more e-books than print books (per late 2010 figures). Similarly, iPad users also support periodicals. According to YUDU Media, iPad users spend as much as 30 times more time on sites like, and via iPad app compared to a desktop computer browser. In fact, sales of the iPad app surpassed the Wired print edition in late 2010.

As the iPad TV ad says, “It’s already a revolution, and it’s only just begun.” Jesse Jackson Jr. may have lost his invitation.



The Hill

Huffington Post


Nieman Journalism Blog

Publishing Perspectives

Real Clear Politics

TSTC Publishing’s Book Business Blog

YUDU Media

Economies evolve, pontificators pontificate

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