(This question was asked by Damon Kiesow, Digital Media Fellow at Poynter Institute to former RJI Fellows, Roger Fidler and Clyde Bentley)
Roger Fidler’s Response:
Aside from creating jobs for a few hundred journalists and stimulating development of more sophisticated newspaper apps for the iPad and other media tablets, I don’t expect The Daily to have a major impact on journalism this year. Its initial impact will be on the business of news publishing and the adoption of tablet newspapers.
Just as with the launch of USA Today nearly 30 years ago, many “serious” journalists and media pundits will be quick to pan The Daily. But that won’t prevent news organizations from “borrowing” some of The Daily’s more innovative features, especially if Murdoch’s iPad newspaper shows signs of financial success. (Older journalists will recall that color weather pages, information graphics and news briefs proliferated in newspapers soon after USA Today’s launch.)
My first impression is very positive. Team Murdoch has done what I’ve always hoped newspapers would do with their tablet editions – create an interactive hybrid of print and web that is visually rich and enjoyable to read. It clearly demonstrates the value of involving publication designers in the production process. Newspaper apps that fully automate the flow of content into limited sets of templates may be more efficient and cheaper to produce, but they quickly become repetitive and boring. They can’t create the elements of surprise and compelling presentations that only humans have a capacity to conceive. I will pay for a subscription to The Daily, not just because of my work, but because I look forward to reading it. I can only hope that other newspapers will learn from The Daily and produce their own tablet editions that take full advantage of the iPad. I can hardly wait to see what creative people will come up with for the 2.0 version of the tablet newspaper.
Clyde Bentley’s Response:
It’s far too early to tell if The Daily is the greatest thing to come to journalism since newsprint on the roll. But what was very clear from the debut of Rupert Murdoch’s iPad-only digital publication is that “newspaper” is back in the lexicon of the futurist. Murdoch was unequivocal about calling his interactive,
digitally-delivered baby and newspaper. Sure, it has 360-degree photos, links to advertisers, HD video and social networking everywhere you look. But it retains the newspaper’s familiar page design, its before-breakfast delivery and its focus on well-crafted prose.
To be sure, The Daily is not a legacy brand moving from the print to the digital world,” Murdoch added. “We believe The Daily will be the model for the way stories are told and consumed.
“The iPad demands that we completely reimagine our craft,” Murdoch said at the event. “I’m convinced that in the tablet era there’s room for a fresh and robust new voice.”