November 25, 2010 § Leave a comment
Ahh, just what I wanted for Thanksgiving, a paper-less daily paper on my non-existent iPad.
Here’s the rundown on Rupert’s newest pet project:
Who: News Corp.’s “The Daily,” a staff of 100, and Mr. Murdoch.
What: A daily digitial newspaper available only from an iPad app.
When: Set to debut sometime in 2011.
Where: Available on iPads everywhere, for a price that is.
Why: Cha-Ching $
Like its namesake, The Daily will be published daily. Imagine a newspaper website, now imagine never being able to refresh it until the next day. The limitations don’t stop there; the staff of 100 is expected to churn out mostly original content, with some recycled bits of content and videos from News Corp. and Fox Sports. [Compare that to most large daily operations which feature at least a couple of hundred on staff.]
Staff highlights include the likes of Sasha Frere-Jones of The New Yorker, Steve Alperin of ABC, and Richard Johnson of Page Six fame. While I’m interested to see what this static, multimedia daily will look like, I’ll admit that I lack the capabilities to do so. The access cost, in this case, an iPad, is quite high–and that’s before I can even access the content via the application.
No need to fear, Murdoch expects half a million to snatch up the app [about 5 % of current tablet users according to the Times]–an ambitious feat, even for the media magnate.
But with tablets and smartphones representing a growing cash mine with users routinely spending on apps, it just might pay off.
September 27, 2010 § Leave a comment
While the 2:14 video didn’t divulge much in terms of details, it pressed on a topic that was near and dear to my journalistic heart: science reporting.
Peter Lewis, a Knight fellow, former New York Times tech writer, and proud maker of the nytimes.com domain name, is working on building a model that creates a generation of science journalists ready to report in-depth on a plethora of technology, health, and environmental issues.
Lewis, who had originally to set out to find an alternate business model for the sagging journalism industry, has since shifted his focus away from “reinventing the wheel” to finding a way to “revive the idea of robust science journalism with a focus on the environment.”
In a world where technology dictates every facet of our lives and climate change is a household word, it’s hard to believe that science journalism wouldn’t be catching on like fire.
“It turns out that science journalism is one of the most endangered species in an overall industry that’s in turmoil right now,” Lewis said of the need for knowledgeable science reporters.
One of my many far-reaching journalistic aspirations is to be a science reporter that specializes in the environment (this is supposed to happen somewhere in between being an international correspondent and an investigative reporter).
All too often I see science journalism abstracted into ideological debates that are unfounded in the roots of the scientific inquiry. At the same time, I’ll be the first to admit that I am unqualified to become a science reporter.
In the minds of many, science journalism still remains a niche field, relegated to specialty magazines like Wired.com for the tech-geek, or Popular Science for the general geek. In its purest form, science journalism becomes too unsavory and too dry and technical for the average reader to comprehend.
“It doesn’t relate to me” is a general complaint I hear from people in relation to why the Science Times section ends up in the wastebasket.
But in my experience, science is about as human as it gets. Nothing has a greater ability to link us to one another than a story about DNA and evolution. Nothing is more distressing to read than a large-scale community ravaged by natural disaster. And few things are more frustrating to read about than humanity fouling its own nest.