Jim Romenesko hosted a debate about news orgs putting social media into the hands of junior staffers. But is that really the problem?
NYT Now, from the New York Times, now offers a discounted subscription option for mobile readers at $8 every four weeks. for heavy newsmonger, the Times will offer a Times Premier to content like Times Insider which will have behind-the-scenes content.
The Times Premier subscription will cost $45 for four weeks, or an extra $10 for the same period for home delivery subscribers. The subscription, which also includes special content like access to compilations of articles from the Times’ archive and additional crossword puzzles, is shareable with two family members, and includes three 12-week all-digital-access gift subscriptions each year. Read more
Trove, the social news reader first created by WaPo Labs, has a brand-new look for the new year.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos bought the newspaper, but the decades-long Washington Post reigning family, the Grahams, kept other assets of the business, including Trove. Now Graham Holdings is giving Trove a new shot at success.
The iOS and web app filters news “from thousands of sources,” while users select which “Troves,” or subjects, to follow for news. You can choose from standard fare, such as politics and tech, special celebrity-curated topics, or create your own curated Trove. Users can pick posts to recommend for others, add a comment, or share directly to their Facebook or Twitter stream. The refreshed app launches with a dozen featured curators. Read more
The Tacoma, Wash.-based News Tribune newspaper has launched a mobile app to cover the state political scene. Its “sole purpose is to provide wall-to-wall, up-to-the minute coverage of state government, particularly the Legislature,” Karen Peterson, executive editor, wrote in a column.
The new app, Capital Update, was a year in the making, according to Peterson.
Peterson described the lengthy creative and technical process that brought the app to fruition:
We’re practiced at covering the Legislature; state government coverage has long been one of our top priorities. However, none of us knew how complicated the process would be to build an app.
First, we settled on the content we wanted to include: stories, editorials, short biographies of legislators, committee assignments and state salary databases. We decided to add content from other trusted news organizations around the state, making ours a one-stop shop for this kind of news. We built a Twitter stream of influential people interested in the Legislature. And we learned to send breaking news updates for the most important happenings each day.
Spreed, a digital vendor we work with for our general news apps, provided a framework for Capital Update, so it will look and feel familiar to TNT app readers. We spent much of the 2013 legislative session perfecting the content and learning to operate the app. Last year we beta-tested iPhone and iPad versions. Read more
The Wall Street Journal was one of the first major newspapers to develop an iPad app, and for David Ho, the paper’s editor of mobile, tablets and emerging technology, it was the most intense professional challenge that he’s ever took on. But he emerged from the process with new insight on app development, which he shares with Mediabistro in the latest installment of So What Do You Do?
“The best technology is invisible. It doesn’t call attention to itself. It doesn’t get in the way of the experience. It just works… Not everyone agrees with this, but I also think people should have options. One of the reasons people like our app is that there are many ways to navigate and explore the news. There are distinct styles for reading news and a good app allows for that. But my number one rule for mobile and tablets is do not annoy.”
My home town’s daily newspaper switched to paywall model this week. This switch includes full news content available through an iPad app. The app is built on NewspaperDirect’s PressReader software that I reviewed earlier this year.
The newspaper chose the least objectional paywall option: Subscribers of the paper newspaper get complete access to news content via the web and a iPad app. And, breaking news is visible to everyone on the web.
Honolulu Star-Advertiser Premium (iTunes App Store)
I had a problem initially where web access worked but the iPad app would not accept my account name and password. An email to the newspaper’s support staff cleared up this problem in less than 24 hours.
The PressReader software works as well as can be expected of an app that produces a visual replica of a paper newspaper. It is not optimal for news presentation. But, it works as well as can be expected given the design constraints. And, the app presented either a new feature or one that I missed during my reivew of PressReader earlier this year: Tapping an article headline brings up an overlay window with a headphones icon in the bottom left corner. Tapping starts a reasonably good text-to-speech engine that reads the article out loud to you. There two big advantages of reading a newspaper online (even in a replica editin):
1. There are no ink stains on fingertips.
2. Color photos (even advertisements) really pop out on the iPad’s display. Photos look so much better than on relatively low quality news print paper.
There is one important missing feature: There is no way to electronically share an article with someone – the equivalent of passing a page or section to someone. The only way to share something is to use the app’s option to print a page or print the entire screen (refer to the screenshot to see these options).
Can an essentially small town paper survive with a web and app paywall? As I said earlier, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser chose the least objectionable paywall option. At the very least, they will not loose paper subscribers since the subscription includes web and app content access.
Ever since Amazon announced the Kindle eReader device, there has been speculation about whether Amazon would provide a subsidized version. It took a while, but recently Amazon started selling the Kindle with Special Offers, which is a Kindle that you can buy for $114 that displays special offers and sponsored screensavers on the Kindle screensaver and on the bottom of the home screen. Today the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News newspapers announced a pilot program in which they will sell discounted Android tablets that has access to their content built-in.
In the future, newspapers will replace the internet, and the iPhone will be conspicuous by its absence.
14 Newspaper, Magazine & Comic Book Apps in iPad Top 200 Grossing List. But, Where’s TIME, Newsweek & National Geographic
The effort to move newspapers and magazines out of the paperbound 19th and 20th centuries into the 21st century fascinates me. It fascintes me because I they were important and should survive to continue to contribute to our culture and record our history. So, how are they doing on the iPad? I took a look at Apple’s list of the Top Grossing iPad Apps as of the wee hours of April 15, 2011 and found these e-publication apps in the top 200. I added in comic book apps into the mix too
11. The Daily
17. New York Post
26. People Magazine
33. Comics (comiXology multiple brands)
42. Marvel Comics (comiXology)
57. DC Comics
64. Popular Science
89. Popular Photography
110. Martha Stewart Living
141. Wired Magazine
150. New Yorker
166. Vanity Fair
171. Bloomberg Businessweek
180. New York Daily News
Although it dropped out of the top 10, The Daily continues to be the top grossing iPad e-publication app. Its slick look, interesting content and reasonable subscription price probably have a lot to do with its success. comiXology owns the comic book space. All three comic book apps in the top 200 list are branded varients of comiXology’s comic book reading and purchasing engine. The only two technology related magazines in the top grossing apps are Popular Science and Wired.
It is also interesting to note the e-publication apps that are nowhere to be seen in the top 200 apps: TIME magazine? Newsweek? National Geographic?
Newspapers are dying. Ironically, it’s all over the news — but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a healthy dose of journalism anymore. Blogging and other forms of social media have replaced the hard copy newspapers we all used to pay for, but in many cases, these new media sources teach us more about what makes for quality content. Tweets aren’t just replacing newspapers, they’re making us better at reading the news. Read more