What they think: The Daily, Murdoch’s digital leap

With the launch of Rupert Murdoch’s latest foray into digital publishing, the Daily, the media world has been getting in with its first impressions of the iPad-only newspaper, and as expected, the reaction is mixed.

The Telegraph‘s Shane Richmond calls it “a complete failure of imagination”, saying: “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.” He goes on to describe the Daily as “a news magazine torn up and stuffed, page-by-page, onto the iPad screen”.

But the Boston Herald‘s Raakhee Mirchandani disagrees, flattering the publication, saying: “It’s a newspaper but prettier. It’s a magazine but techier. It’s a TV news show but sexier. Its ads look gorgeous, and are reader-friendly.”

CNet’s Rafe Needleman notes the collision of Murdoch’s print legacy with this new age of digital publishing. “While this ‘paper’ isn’t anything like a traditional print daily – it’s got video, audio, interactive games, and a can-can carousel view of stories – reading it does evoke the old experience of settling down with a printed broadsheet, in ways that the online versions of existing newspapers don’t quite capture.”

Although Needleman doesn’t see it as the “saviour” of the newspaper industry, he says “it is a good read and it’s worth the reasonable subscription fee. It’s professionally produced, well-written, and edited by people who know and care about the craft”.

Gadget website Gizmodo was impressed with the “evolutionary” step the Daily has taken, but pointed out its technical flaws. “It’s susceptible to lagging and crashing. The carousel navigation is painfully slow. Interactive elements, like the hot spot text blurbs, seem perfunctory, like they’re just there for the sake of having something be interactive.” To replace your humdrum printed paper, it’s “gonna have to be smoother, faster, and more coherent” says the website.

The Guardian asked Ian Betteridge, digital content strategist at magazine publisher Redwood, to review the first issue and he concluded that the quality of the content will “ultimately decide whether the Daily lives or dies”.

“Like any kind of new publication, the Daily is going to take some time to find its feet. At the moment, it feels in places more like a newspaper created by a slightly dull committee rather than something with the kind of personality and viewpoint that truly great publications have.”

(Sources: The Telegraph, Boston Herald, CNet, Gizmodo, MediaGuardian)

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