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News Corp. announces the end of the first tablet exclusive newspaper, The Daily

Logo for The Daily. Source: Wikipedia

News Corp. announced the web’s first tablet-only newspaper, The Daily, would stop publication on Dec. 15 as part of a restructuring plan, according to the media giant in a press release on Monday, Dec. 3. The publication, which launched with high expectations, lasted only two years. 

“Although we have over 100,000 passionate paying subscribers, unfortunately we have not been able to build a big enough audience fast enough to make our business model work,” The Daily editor in chief Jesse Angelo wrote in a memo to staff, according to Talking Points Memo. 

Poynter highlighted two lessons from the iPad publication’s end: know your audience and one platform isn’t enough. While the first lesson is a basic tenant of journalism, the second is more meaningful for the current news landscape. 

Last week the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University released an essay about the challenges facing “post-industrial journalism.” One of the main arguments of the piece was that the vertical integration of 19th century journalism, where the publisher controlled content creation and the distribution networks, is no longer viable in the new media landscape where the Internet and social media have freed advertisers and users from one-stop-shop publications. 

The Daily tried to emulate the old newspaper model by publishing stories once a day--a convention based on the limitations of printing and distributing a publication--in a 24-7 news environment and limiting its content to just tablets, as if it were printed on paper.

The Atlantic observed that in The Daily's quest for mobile it failed to embrace social media, the lifeblood of Internet traffic.

Jeff Jarvis reflected on the company’s mistakes for the Guardian, saying, “News organizations should have a strategy built around relationships with individuals, serving them wherever, whenever, and on whatever platform they like. My needs don't change just because the device in my hands does.” 

In hindsight, The Daily’s model was a “missing link” in the evolution between the old, vertical model of print journalism and the more user-focused cross-platform approach seen with news websites like Quartz.

Opinions ranged on Twitter over whether or not The Daily was a worthwhile experiment in mobile news media or a doomed flop. 

The company announced that the brand will continue to exist and some employees from the publication would join the New York Post, owned by News Corporation, according to The New York Times. 


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