Today, Rupert Murdoch launched The Daily – an iPad-based newspaper. Rumors of the newspaper have been circulating for a while, and the launch had been delayed due to Steve Jobs’ health-related leave of absence, but The Daily was officially announced today at a reception held at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Apple + Murdoch = The Daily

Murdoch, accompanied by Apple’s Eddy Cue, vice president of Internet services, introduced the app, which aims to provide news via an interactive digital layout. Taking a cue from Wired, which popularized the practice of swiping horizontally to move between stories, The Daily features this functionality, while adding slide shows and high-definition video and photography. Oh, and there’s 3-D. The Daily will have traditional newspaper sections, as well as games and movie and music reviews, but with the added bonus of featuring video movie trailers and audio clips alongside.

While The Daily doesn’t have an official web-based component, news articles will be made available online, but without advertising or intentional promotion. Additionally, the staff -- many of whom are well known newspaper editors, journalists and managers -- are dedicated to telling a story. During the launch, the production team indicated that all stories are developed based on one common question: what is the best way to tell this story? That may mean text, video, audio, photography or all of the above.


Image 1. An example of a feature article in The Daily, the app-based newspaper for the iPad.


Image 2. Readers can "swipe" through The Daily's top stories on the iPad.

Learning Opportunities

Each story is visible via an interactive tile, through which readers can swipe. Readers can share stories via social media sharing buttons; pages shared via social media can be viewed for free. In addition, readers can read stories from the perspective of social media as well, as The Daily features a dynamic Twitter feed of those featured in a specific story -- the sports sections makes the best use of this. Back issues will be archived on the web, which may help save memory and storage space for iPad users.

Rumors, Predictions and Innovation

Based on preliminary reviews, The Daily is either the most exciting news media startup of the millennium or doomed to fail before it begins. Surely, because of its association with Murdoch, who isn’t the most agreeable or popular publisher, the iPad app may not have the initial support of everyone. The fact that it places content behind the paywall doesn’t necessarily help either. (The Daily is available in the App Store for $4.25 per month, $39.99 per year)

Much of the attention around The Daily has focused on the speculation of who would be joining the staff. Reports indicate that The Daily will employ approximately 100 staff members, many of whom will be leaving other prominent media outlets. Operating out of two coastal offices in Los Angeles and New York, The Daily is slated to cover breaking news, as well as technology and innovation, sports, arts and an editorial desk.

During the launch, the presenters made frequent references to "real-time," "interactive" and "dynamic" content, as if this was a novel concept for news. While it may be true that The Daily will be revolutionizing news for the iPad, it's a little premature to say that it is changing the actual definition of news. However, it's clear that it is challenging the concept of news, as it relates to the media. It appears to be considering most everything its competition -- The Daily seems fairly confident that it's them versus Angry Birds, online newspapers, Twitter, Facebook and any other attention-grabbing mediascape.

Successful or not, The Daily will be the first exclusively iPad newspaper. One year after the iPad was introduced, it's impressive to see how far it's come. What was once a funny-named device is now a mainstay of the mobile jet set. The introduction of an exclusively iPad newspaper, from both web publishing and mobile engagement points of view, is a remarkable initiative that, if successful, may be a turning point for paywalls, digital media and the publishing industry.