A New Player Enters the Game

Posted: November 22, 2010 in Application Journalism, Journalism


In the midst of the formation of a new business model for journalism, Rupert Murdoch and Steve Jobs are adding a new approach to the discussion. The Daily will be appearing on tablet-styled computers near you early next year. Print publications have been trying to figure out how to make enough money since craigslist took classifieds out of newspapers. Web publications are trying to figure out how to make money without a print edition. Print publications with websites are considering whether or not to use paywalls to boost sales. Murdoch and Jobs have created the only app-only news edition, which if successful can avoid all of these issues.

According to the article on guardian.co.uk, “Murdoch believes the iPad is going to be a “game changer” and he has seen projections that there will be 40 million iPads in circulation by the end of 2011.” He thinks that there will be an iPad in every home in the near future and they will become many American’s main avenue for news and information. If this turns out to be true, Murdoch and Jobs may be the first to tap the untapped information keg. Apparently, the Daily will only cost 99 cents a week to produce, due to the lack of printing and distribution costs. I find this number to be fairly farfetched, considering they’re going to have to pay some people to create the content provided on the application. I guess not if they’re going to regurgitate information from Murdoch’s other news outlets such as the NY Post, Wall Street Journal and everyone’s favorite propaganda pusher FoxNews. If that’s the case, then they are hardly creating a tablet only news edition. For arguments sake, I’ll assume they are telling the truth about the exclusivity of the project, so I think it is safe to say they will spend more than 99 cents a week.

I have to give them credit for being the first to approach this idea, but there is the simple fact that it’s fairly simple for these two billionaires to risk failure when they have so many other sources of income. Murdoch is the most successful media mogul today and Jobs is almost always exposing the world to new user-based digital technology such as the iPod, iPhone and iPad (not exactly first, but he took it to a new level). If two individuals have a chance at making this idea successful, it’s definitely these two gentlemen (this term is used loosely). The success of the iPad and the quality of the content on the Daily are going to weigh heavily on the amount of exposure this “newspaper” will receive.

If this concept does prove to be a success, you can be sure other media members will attempt to follow the work of Murdoch and Jobs. With the way the media is shaped these days, there may be conservative, liberal, independent, objective, radical, and tabloid editions plaguing the iPad in just a few years. Why not? That’s what happened to newspapers, television, and the internet. There’s no reason iPads and Kindles would be protected from the menagerie that is the media today.

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