Employees at both MediaNews Group and the Journal Register Company are being invited into an ideaLab — a group of company employees promised “the latest tools and… the time and money to experiment with them.”
“Each member of the ideaLab will be equipped, initially, with a Smartphone, tablet and laptop,” CEO John Paton said in his blog, announcing the addition of 25 MediaNews employees to the original Journal Register ideaLab project, begun last year. He added:
“The Company will carve out 10 hours a week from their regular jobs to allow them time to experiment with these tools and report back on how we can change our business for the better. And we will add an extra $500 per month to their pay. Other than that – there are no rules.”
Following his own “digital first” philosophy, Paton invited employees to apply for ideaLab membership by posting responses on his blog or sending him an email message answering the question, “In about 200 words or less, what would you do with the tools and time to improve our business?”
Discussions and links:
According to the latest “special offer” notice to New York Times online users, an additional discount for some academic subscribers is coming:
Soon we will announce a discounted digital subscription option for current faculty, students, administrators and staff at eligible colleges and universities.
Eligible colleges will be those that purchase a qualifying number of copies of The New York Times as part of their newspaper readership program.
For now, if your college does not have a “newspaper readership program” the Times is offering a 25 percent discount to registered users for the first year of a digital subscription under its new paywall plan. That’s $3.75 a week for nytimes.com plus the iPad app, for example; $5 a week after the discounted year.
The word “newspaper” doesn’t show up in the “about” page text, but here’s Rupert Murdoch’s new iPad-specific litter-free daily, available by weekly or annual subscription through Apple’s App Store, The Daily.
The Daily launched on February 2, 2011 with the mission to provide the best news experience by combining world-class storytelling with the unique interactive capabilities of the iPad.
Led by Editor-in-Chief Jesse Angelo and Publisher Greg Clayman, The Daily is a category first: a tablet-native national news brand built from the ground up to publish original content exclusively for the iPad.
The Daily is incisive, optimistic, and independent. It’s not just an app—it’s a new voice. The Daily is offered exclusively in Apple’s iPad App Store and is available free for two weeks. It costs just 99 cents a week, or $39.99 a year.
“New times demand new journalism,” said Mr. Murdoch. “So we built The Daily completely from scratch — on the most innovative device to come about in my time — the iPad.”
“The magic of great newspapers — and great blogs — lies in their serendipity and surprise, and the touch of a good editor,” continued Mr. Murdoch. “We’re going to bring that magic to The Daily — to inform people, to make them think, to help them engage in the great issues of the day. And as we continue to improve and evolve, we are going to use the best in new technology to push the boundaries of reporting.”
The Daily’s unique mix of text, photography, audio, video, information graphics, touch interactivity and real-time data and social feeds provides its editors with the ability to decide not only which stories are most important — but also the best format to deliver these stories to their readers.
“News Corp. is redefining the news experience with The Daily,” says Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We think it is terrific and iPad users are really going to embrace it.”
At http://thedaily.com there’s a walk-through for folks who don’t own an iPad. One page offers the concept in one-sentence: “The Daily has the depth and quality of a magazine, but is delivered daily like a newspaper and updated in real-time like the web.”
Its staff is drawn from a variety of newspaper, magazine and online careers. The editor in chief, Jesse Angelo, is executive editor of the New York Post, and will retain that title. A New Yorker and Harvard grad, he was a reporter for The Sun in London and the Daily Telegraph in Sydney before joining the Post.
News editor Mike Nizza has worked for The New York Times online, Atlantic Media Co.’s Innovation Center, and as editor in chief of AOL News.
The New York Times business section story on The Daily’s launch includes interesting details on costs, staffing and Murdoch’s deal with Apple. And, the Times calls it a “newspaper.”
(One critical reader says “The Daily” name itself is out of touch with the new medium, that it should be “The Moment” — “with rabid updates throughout the day.” I suspect rabid for rapid is a Freudian-Murdochian-Foxian slip.
If you’ve tried The Daily, feel free to add reviews or links to them below… Your mild-mannered webmaster is an Android user, at least until iPad 2 comes out.
Clyde Bentley at the University of Missouri offers a timeline for “Mobile Newspaper Success”… The road to 2013: A timeline for newspapers.
Responding to a Gartner Research study that forecast mobile devices will replace PCs in Web access by 2013, Bentley built a timeline from the endpoint to the present.
Result: If you’re a “key editor” at a newspaper, you should get a smartphone this month, or you’re already playing catch-up.
By August-September, Clyde says, newspapers should be training their news and ad staff on “mobile potential,” if they want to stay on track with the Gartner deadline. Within a year, mobile reporters should be producing niche-market features for mobile customers. Clyde’s examples: “Smoke-break wraps, during-game scores, pre-commute weather.”
More on that, and my own dumb experience with smartphones, here:
Tell Clyde I’m on the road to Floyd with a Droid
Here’s Apple’s iPad. The format looks familiar… See the video below.
Martin Nisenholtz of the Times told the Apple iPad launch-event audience that the newspaper’s developers wanted to offer “the best of print and best of digital, all rolled up into one.”
The iPad with the Times front page bears a striking resemblance to “TheTablet” pictured in Knight-Ridder veteran Roger Fidler’s book Mediamorphosis, published in 1997, on page 238.
On page 239, he wrote, “The idea that people will be leisurely reading documents on portable tablets by the year 2010 may seem unrealistic given the present state of computer and display technologies, but it is no more fantastic than was the 1980 vision of people routiinely using mobile cell phones…
A quick search just found this post by Juan Antonio Giner Roger Fidler and his vision of a newspaper tablet, complete with a link to this 1994 video showing that TheTablet mock-up. Here’s more from the Reynolds Journalism Instititute’s tablet-watch and the Society of News Design.