❚ WITH A HUGE ROLL OF THE DICE, Rupert Murdoch has sought to put a seal on his reputation as a visionary media tycoon by launching The Daily, a digital-only news operation created from scratch and designed specifically for the iPad. Much is riding on it, not just Murdoch’s personal legacy in the twilight of his career, but, in his own description, the future of how people produce and consume journalism…
❚ SO WHAT DOES AN iPAD NEWSPAPER FEEL LIKE? The answer is “not much like a newspaper”. Instead, The Daily feels much more like one of the better examples of an iPad magazine, along the lines of Wired or Virgin’s Project. Despite the fact that both publications are ultimately owned by the same company, The Daily is nothing like The Times’s iPad app, as there’s little attempt to replicate much of the look, feel or tone of a traditional print newspaper. There’s plenty of video, both in stories and the ads that are strewn through The Daily. In some cases, rather than use ordinary photographs, there are 360-degree panoramic shots…
❚ IT’S NOT A ‘NATIVE’ iPAD EXPERIENCE AT ALL, it’s a news magazine torn up and stuffed, page-by-page onto the iPad screen… If this is the best that journalism’s brightest brains can do, given a huge budget and input from Apple itself, then we’re in worse trouble than I thought.
❚ RUPERT MURDOCH SPEAKING YESTERDAY: “The iPad demands that we completely reimagine our craft… The magic of newspapers — and great blogs — lies in their serendipity and surprise, and the deft touch of a good editor. We’re going to bring that magic to The Daily. Similarly, we can and we must make the business of newsgathering and editing viable again. In the tablet era there’s room for a fresh and robust new voice.
“No paper, no multimillion dollar presses, no trucks — we’re passing on these savings to the reader for just 14 cents a day… Our target audience is the 50m Americans who are expected to own tablets next year. Success will be determined by utility and originality. The Daily is not a legacy brand moving from the print to the digital world.”
➢ Launch of The Daily — Video of live presentation at the Guggenheim Museum, presented by Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corporation, and his editorial team (42 minutes)
➢ View demo of The Daily in action at thedaily.com
❚ TECHNOLOGY BLOGGER JOHN GRUBER: “Nothing groundbreaking, but better than most such efforts to date. The carousel feature is incredibly laggy. I can’t believe they shipped it like this. Maybe they’ve hired a good staff of writers and editors, but they sure need better designers and engineers. The experience just isn’t good enough.”
❚ THE NEWS SECTION IS EXTREMELY WEAK. The first edition contains precisely two real news articles, one of which (a story about Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s global address) had been thoroughly covered by all the major news outlets the previous day; the other, about the snow storm currently hitting the US, was borrowed from the AP.
❚ THE DAILY IS PARTNERING with the Associated Press for its content… [although] it’s been selling itself as a place to go for original content. As its website puts it: The Daily is “a tablet-native national news brand built from the ground up to publish original content exclusively for the iPad”. Apparently “original” here means “not aggregated.” Which is fair enough. But “original content” also implies “special content.” The kind of content you can’t get anywhere else.