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iPad: Rupert Murdoch’s The Daily iPad Paper Saves Journalism From Google

by | 27th, November 2010

AS Rupert Murdoch channels cash and 100 hacks into the iPad newspaper The Daily in the latest attempt to keep his titles a go-to source of news and views, big media must realise that good years are over.

The Daily will just be yesterday’s news today. It’s just another newspaper on a new format. It will cost 99 cents per week. That’s not too dear. But why pay when there are free newspaper, free internet downloads and Facebook?

Where Murdoch, a publishing genius. does get it right is that he is partnered with Steve Jobs, the apple genius. He also knows the value of good writing, the thing that builds readers loyalty and has been replicated on Twitter where you can follow your favourites. It will be walled content – but what is the ubiquitous Google but a controlled environment, with a hierarchy set by a big profit-focused corporation?

Murdoch’s taking a ┬árisk. But then forward-thinking media corps know risks need to be taken. Alan White looks at how journalism has altered and still remains as relevant as ever:

NEWS media owners and editors have in the past three or four years realised the game is up as they agonise over falling circulations, listeners and viewing figures.

Production journalists the world over are desperate to get to grips with retrieving their falling audience. They have the words and pictures but less and less of the targets are willing to stay with them as the cyber-routes explode across the intraweb.

I spotted a deja vu moan in other sections of Anorak the other day, a cry for times past. I stayed well away since it is universal constant nostalgia ain’t what is used to be and the NOW is all.

Cash is the lifeblood of it. Years ago media mogul and Second World War Canadian and allied forces propagandist Fuhrer Lord Thomson (no P) was handed the Scottish TV contract. Within a few months he gleefully announced it was:

“A licence to print money.”

It was. But that money did not go back in the newspapers which were the core of his empire and the cash-rich STV owner formed Thomson Holidays, Thomson Oil and one last dip into the printed media with Thomson Pages and a series of trade magazines. Diversity was the key and that broad spread gave the lodestone to mega wealth – the advertisement dollars.

One college lecturer I chanced across used to rail at difficult college students with:

“If you do not want to work to gain a useful degree you can always take the lowest of the low job…selling blank space in newspapers.”

I still assume he had been spurned by a vivacious tele-ad girl who was scaling the heights of some advertisement manager’s groin. But he was wrong, without the cash to produce the media material no facts, sex scandals or political shortcomings can be revealed to the great unwashed. Then we start to live in a fictional, transuranic Matrix type of existence where the all-powerful once again actually get away with it.

Now it is not Audit Bureau Circulation figures which matter as media people (still bright, still desperate for advertisement cash and still clambering to scale the heights) argue, not boasting of increased circulation figures but jabbing fingers at the raw fact that they have not lost as much ground as the other guy; what really counts and costs is the magic Google rating.

Standing back a little, it has to be said the very big for its boots Google is becoming the new censorship tyrant and an all-powerful influence across the world’s information streams. China has already made it’s position clear (for all the wrong reasons) but other governments will start to react when the control function is finally spotted for what it is.

Search Engine Organisation is the key to media success say the SEO chiefs.
Once again the writers take the back seat and are manipulated into using the key-word route. Mention Money, politics, McCann, the Pope, mucky Catholic priestly sex, Tiger and Playboy and the all-important click – hits go up.

All true. But this morning over the other side of the world from where I am now there is another basic truth for all communicators.
It is in today’s Jakarta Post the English Language newspaper published in Indonesia the largest Muslim country in the world .

Here it is: a mother and child on the streets in East Java. They are at a laptop staying in touch with whatever they want in the world around them. The Star Trek Universal communicator and tricorder can not be far behind.

The Post’s caption is:
Internet fever: A young mother with child on her lap browse the internet in the front of the Bojonegoro Regency office, East Java, on Friday. The internet era has apparently managed to catch everyone’s attention right now from those who lived in big cities to those in regencies.

It gives me hope, real hope my years of bashing keyboards to get news out to the poor and disadvantaged, as well as the over-fed rich and powerful, may at long last be achieving something like a result.

Then again? The mum may getting her kicks lusting over Play Boy on line. Good! That is her right and the freedom to do so is a basic given, but then journos will have to start searching for yet another answer.



Posted: 27th, November 2010 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink