The Daily whoa?

Rupert Murdoch's iPad newspaper draws a big, speculative buzz



Ethan Sherwood Strauss
February 3, 2011 8:03AM (UTC)

As Rupert Murdoch unleashes his digital, iPad-specific newspaper, he does so to a receptive peanut gallery. With the product selling for 99 cents per week, $39.99 a year, it has potential to economically alter our little industry's fate. And we, the media, love to navel-gaze our own future. Promise the moon and we'll all grab telescopes in a gunslinger's blur. The scribe's zeal to look forward is informed by an uncertain, desperate present.

(Will The Daily make me obsolete? Will The Daily pay my mortgage?)

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(Who am I kidding, will The Daily pay my rent -- for the hole I'm renting from toothless glue addicts?)

The reviews -- as the cliché goes -- have been mixed:

  • Huffington Post's Larry Magid is hardly a fan, citing a "yesterday's news" problem that plagues dead tree screeds.
  • Jack Shafer: ''I'd say that The Daily is more about establishing a new business model, with an efficient pay wall, than embracing a new medium.''
  • From the New Yorker: ''Right now, it feels like a hybrid of the New York Post, the iTunes store, and elements of other iPad periodicals: slide show, video, infographics.''
  • Gizmodo believes The Daily to be good out of the gate, but not revolutionary.

Murdoch's marketing includes a functional advertisement that leads newbies through The Daily confines. A narrator's singsong cadence evokes memories of grade school typing programs -- for me, it specifically brings back the cartoon iguana who cheered my ability to capitalize via ''shift'' keys. That which is displayed, amid the kindergarten-cadence, prompts recollections of, well, the Internet. 

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The instructional commercial is simplistic to the point of confusing. Who is this for? How is this the future?

And perhaps the most telling aspect of the ribbon-cutting: A next-gen iPad sighting generated considerable buzz at The Daily unveiling. The means of conveyance is what gets people giddy, these days.

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My take? I don't yet own an iPad (remember the toothless addicts?). But, I wonder: Will The Daily become relevant enough for me to get one? Early indications say no, but Fox News wasn't built in a day.


Ethan Sherwood Strauss

MORE FROM Ethan Sherwood Strauss


Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Apple Internet Culture Ipad Rupert Murdoch

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