QR-Code and Newspapers
So what do QR-Codes and newspapers have in common? They are both printed in black and white. This gives QR-Codes (mobile barcodes) ease of integration of into mainstream newspapers.
Newspapers are a traditional form of displaying news. They are hugely popular worldwide and many newspapers are extremely influential. Journalists that write in newspapers often refer to a website, telephone number, map, music, picture or another form of media. But that is where newspapers lag; they cannot offer that additional user-experience (unless online). For newspapers to adopt QR-Codes would be a massive innovation. Newspapers could make there content that little bit more special by adding QR-Codes that would then link there articles to a media source or content.
A journalist writes a great article about football (soccer), and describes the final goal as the greatest he/she has ever seen. People see a lot of good goals; the reader simply has to take the journalists word for it and assume the goal was great. Introduce QR-Codes and this could all change. If a QR-Code was placed next to the article with a caption advising them they can watch the goal on there mobile phone, the reader could then capture the QR-Code with there mobile phone, this would then direct the users mobile phone to a URL located on YouTube (for example) with the goal. The user could then watch the video and truly see for them selves if the goal was any good. This really empowers the user and makes the newspaper article much more interactive.
Comment & Reviews
Many online newspapers now allow users to comment on articles that they write. This is a great way to encourage social interaction. This option is not available with offline newspapers, but could be if you introduce a QR-Code along with a newspaper article, the user could then scan and QR-Code which would take them to the newspaper website. The user could the read and contribute to the article.
Google, Newspapers and QR-Codes
Google has already conjured up this idea outlined within this article, and has created AdWords Print Ads that make use of QR-Codes. They have also released a QR-Code reader called ZXing which combined with Google AdWords Print Ads opens up a whole new kettle of offline/online advertising.