Scouring the Media

Newspaper of the future: is it the iPad?

Posted on: December 2, 2010

NPR’s Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep explained yesterday that the iPad may be the host of the next big thing in journalism.

“…Coming early next year, billionaire Rupert Murdoch plans to launch his own iPad-only daily newspaper.”

Cnet news reported that the name of this newspaper will be, simply enough, “The Daily” and that it will be sold on the iPad for 99 cents per week.

Now that the masses will have access to a newspaper with moving ads and images, much like newspapers of the future as seen in science fiction movies, it’s up to the audience to decide if the digital newspaper passes or fails. Although science fiction movies have been making newspapers of the future look enchanting for years, many journalists don’t think The Daily will make it. In the age of sharing, this new project’s reluctance to link to the internet for unoriginal content is disappointing to some and a sign of future failure to many.

“The conception of the daily, as it is called, is mostly original content,” said David Carr, media columnist for The New York Times in an interview with Steve Inskeep. “But it doesn’t have any inbound links from the Web, no outbound links, so it’s not really part of what we think of as the news ecosystem.”

According to Carr’s column in The New York Times, an investment has been made and a staff has been chosen.

“With an investment of $30 million and a staff of around 100, The Daily will be the first of a kind — a ‘newspaper’ with rich media and photography built especially for the iPad,” wrote Carr in his column.

Carr continued to write about the digital newspaper’s new staff.

“The enterprise has made some surprising hires from the ranks of the mainstream — Sasha Frere-Jones, the music critic of The New Yorker; Steve Alperin, a high-profile television producer; and Richard Johnson, the former king of Page Six,” he wrote. “The Daily will incorporate some material from the rest of the News Corporation — Fox Sports will provide some video, according to people putting together the prototype — but the plan is that a vast majority of the content will be original.”

In an article titled “Why the iPad Newspaper is Doomed,” Gawker writer Ryan Tate explained that the newspaper needed to focus on content in order to succeed.

“There will be people writing about politics, crime and society. Quaintly, there will even be an a dedicated opinion section,” Tate wrote. “That broad scope might be workable for 100 journalists if there were some aggregation going on — some borrowing and sharing work done by others — but the vast majority of The Daily’s content is supposed to be original.”

Finally The Guardian also published information about the new project:

“According to reports, there will be no ‘print edition’ or ‘web edition’; the central innovation, developed with assistance from Apple engineers, will be to dispatch the publication automatically to an iPad or any of the growing number of similar devices.”

With so many questions for the new newspaper application, its launch may create even more questions. It will simply take time to see, however. Despite being a major milestone as the first iPad only newspaper, this experiment will definitely test the waters for new newspaper territory.


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