Did The Daily Revolutionize iPad News?
By Becky Lang
Lately I’ve had the breakfast routine of reading News Corps.’ just-for-iPad news outlet, and I have to say, I’m into it. Once my two weeks are up, I will indeed throw down the $1 a week to keep it coming.
So, did The Daily revolutionize digital news? Let’s look at the pros and cons.
1. It doesn’t cling to the newspaper format like The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Is mimicking printing presses from over a century ago really the ideal way to read? Not for me. The Daily’s magazine-style layout allows for more ambitious design and a more immersive reading experience.
2. In fact, the whole thing is an experience. I admit, a lot of it is cheesy – the sky while the paper is “delivered,” the carousel that never renders well – but it’s fun. Plus, sudoku and a crossword – bonus points.
3. There’s nothing else quite like it. Newspaper apps update daily, but like I said, they feel like reading a newspaper. The Daily is one of the only magazine-style experiences that keeps you coming back for new content day after day. Plus, how did they score the name The Daily? Was that still available for a major media publication? I guess.
4. The video content is quality. No matter the subject, the editing of their videos is quirky and professional. They might be more of a Sunday feature, but it’s a good one.
1. The writing isn’t great/ There’s a major conservative bias. While I have enjoyed quirky news articles about robots and war dogs, things remain consistently shallow and safe. Also, why must they consistently refer to Mubarak as “The Mummy?” I see from a quick Google search that it’s a common nickname, but did it start with Egyptians or is it an instance of American writers being like, “Ok Egypt … whad’we got … mummies!” The conservative stance is quite apparent, especially in their multi-part saga about the crisis in American education, where they talked about firing poor teachers and bringing military figures into schools. The worst part was a chart that depicted teacher effectiveness as directly related (in a causal manner) to student income later in life. How do you shift this to account for the 20+ different teachers they have over a lifetime? Who knows.
2. The design is clunky and campy. The word cloud that surrounds opinion pieces and video opening screens seems very web 2.0, and the graphics often render fuzzy. It’s a bit too ambitious for my Internet connection, at least.
3. The choice of subjects covered is underwhelming. Of all the topics in the world, should “gossip” really be #2? And why “Apps & Games” instead of “Technology?” I get that it’s a more specific focus, but in this case I thought that it was just a game section and not actual coverage of a field.
I think most journalistic sources have a growing period before they reach their potential, and The Daily is just at the beginning. I think with more testing and innovation, it will just get better and better, as long as people keep checking in. So has it revolutionized the iPad’s function as an e-reader? That might be a bit strong of a word for The Daily, but it has definitely inspired me to use my iPad more often, which at least makes it rank with Flipboard in terms of apps that Apple should be thanking their lucky stars exist.
So, do you think AOL and Arianna Huffington are working on their own?