Pros, Cons and Must-Have’s

 

Rupert Murdoch’s “The Daily” has been creating a lot of buzz lately.  Between rumors about it’s release date, the typical technology buzz and what “The Daily” is going to consist of content-wise, few people have actually focused on what this means for the journalism industry.  The idea for further exploration came from here.

Like every new technological advance there are pro’s, con’s and must-have’s.  Let’s go over them in regards to “The Daily,” shall we?

Pros

Every news organization needs a group of hardworking, dedicated reporters.  How else will interesting and in-depth stories be produced?  “The Daily” will need a sizeable newsroom to aquire all of the hardhitting stories that will attract news consumers.  All of these reporters will need to be overseen by someone with leadership skills and the ability to make tough decisions…an editor!  What does this mean?! Jobs! Lots and lots of ‘em in the journalism industry!

Okay, so we have jobs…what else is there?

Another factor that is important in any news industry: Readership! 

iPad users, who are going to be the first to test out the “iNewspaper,” typically spend 30-40 minutes at a time on their iPad.  If this newspaper gets enough attention and becomes popular on the iPad, then there can be “upgrades” that could integrate social interactions like Facebook or Twitter.  Similar to the internet, but there is more time spent on the iPad at a time.  Typically internet users click, look at one page for around 5-10 seconds, and then click to the next.  There is a “freedom” in respect to time. More readership=more money! More money=more jobs and more in-depth stories!

There has to be more to this readership prediction, right? Right!

Murdoch predicts that by 2011 every household will have and iPad or something like it.  So what? That’s a big deal!  More iPad owners=more news consumers.  The more news consumers; the more cash that’s earned by “The Daily.”  The more cash; the more profit there is after expenses are accounted for. Yay for a potentially profitable newspaper.

But wait, not everything is all positives…there has to be something wrong with this concept.

Cons

There are two sides of an arguement, this one involving social integration.  Not everyone loves the external buzz with hyperlinks everywhere. All the connections made to the outside world gets rid of the usually relaxing interaction a consumer has with reading a paper.  Whether or not that is a bad thing is different depending on who you ask.  Personally, I wouldn’t mind a lack of links to the “outside world.”  There is one time I would like to see a link:  If there is a reference to something I haven’t read, or if it is a link to a company or person I’ve never heard of.

Okay, so there is a lack of constant updates/outside linkage in this kind of paper…Big deal. 

It’s not all bad, right? *Buzzer noise* Wrong.  At least, for the journalists. 

As many people who have been following stories regarding Apple and the iNewspapers concept know, Apple takes a major chunk of the revenue made by such companies.  Apple takes 30% of the cut in all media…That’s not too bad; it’s less than half! Well, let’s take a look at it.  If the company is just starting off, and there is a lack of readership, then Apple is taking a major piece of the pie…the company won’t be able to thrive unless it has a ridiculous amount of readers. Second, Apple has access to all customer data. This means it takes away from profits for the paper…it can’t sell any of the info to other companies because Apple has the rights to the info. 

Okay, Pros: Check. Cons: Check. Must Have’s…

Everyone has a few things that he/she cannot live without.  For me, it’s my Starbucks Chai Tea Latte in the morning and my cell phone.  For newspapers, specifically “The Daily,” there are a set of must-have’s in order to succeed.

Content.  Okay, what about it?  Well, this paper, in order to thrive, must have exclusive and proprietary content.  Not like Yahoo!News that links to every news organization in the world, or Google, which doesn’t really acknowledge that it doesn’t create most of the articles seen there.  This paper needs original, important and thought-provoking news stories.

Price.  How much should this paper cost?  Should it be priced like an actual newspaper; should it be free?  Well that’s ultimately up to the readers.  More demand=the ability to change the price to suit the company’s needs.

It’s needs to be quick.  The quicker it is, the more likely readers will go to the iNewspaper before anything else.  There’s another thing that will affect the speed.  If “The Daily” is solely an app in Apple’s world, then there is more of a chance that the program will be slower. It will have lots of upgrades and expenses, and it will overall be the crappy app that no one wants to download.  Perhaps there could be another route the paper could take.  Making the paper part of the web that is compatible with any tablet device would eliminate all of the hassle with Apple.  It could eliminate Apple stealing most of its revenue, and it could form a better business model than Apple’s. 

Ultimately, there are a lot of decisions Murdoch has to make before the final product is introduced  to the public.

How do you think this paper should be designed?  Also, if anyone actually reads this: What do you want me to write about? Is there anything that particularly interests you in the journalism world?

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