The Daily newspaper iPad application raises questions and concerns

The Daily, an online newspaper application that has been recently released solely for the Apple iPad, evokes mixed feelings at The Tartan. While we fully acknowledge that print news is dying out and that the future of reporting is on the Internet, it seems highly limiting to offer a source of news only to owners of the Apple iPad.

The Daily publishes news stories, videos, 360-degree photographs, and other interactive media on a real-time schedule. The online publication is produced by a staff of over 100 editors, writers, and designers and is predicted by the Daily Holdings, Inc. to operate on a small budget of $500,000 per week. Similar to a traditional newspaper, The Daily will also charge a subscription fee that comes out to about $0.14 per day for a user to have access to its content.

Online publication using tools like the iPad is one approach to the problems current newspapers face; while profits from print are dying, newspapers are still expected to distribute most of their articles for free online. In response, newspapers have made efforts to gain revenue from their online readership by putting some content behind subscription walls, but that has largely been met with resistance. The newspaper industry has thus been struggling to stay out of the red due to its steadily declining revenue. If The Daily can accomplish what few newspapers have done so far — to create a profit in digital reporting — then we can do nothing but salute its progress.

We have some doubts, however, as to whether The Daily can overcome such a monumental challenge. The primary issue we see is that the publication is limiting its audience to consumers who own an iPad. While it’s true that a growing number of people own one of these devices, we see no reason that The Daily could not expand its model to also offer content online. We can see a little of the rationale behind the publication’s choice — the designers might have to produce two separate designs and more effort would have to be put into creating interactive media for a range of devices — but to us that effort seems highly profitable and would work with The Daily’s model to create a digital media source that would be able to sustain itself.

In the end, though, we can do nothing but wish The Daily as much success as possible, in the hopes that it will pave the way for a new age of profitable and successful journalism.