Monday, February 21, 2011

The Daily: National Magazine

When I first reviewed The Daily, there was something about it's layout that kind of stuck in my craw. Listening to the On The Media and This Week In Tech podcasts this weekend -- playing catch-up after a hell week of events -- it hit me square in the face.

Rupert Murdoch should have a winner, if he sticks with it, because he's not going to end up like The National. Remember? The failed attempt at a nationwide sports newspaper? It never made traction because at the start of the digital age, it could never provide enough scores or stats quickly to beat on-line or local papers. And it lacked depth, so it was just an all-sports USA TODAY.

Murdoch isn't doing a daily paper -- he's doing a daily magazine. With the photo spreads, the 360 views, the long-form analysis bits -- the very value-added content I've said for years is the key to success in a pay-content future. Free news will always beat pay news, and with social media upping the ante with friends able to tweet out the final score or original reportage, forget beating the net with news.

But the interpretation, that's a different deal.

So if Murdoch can mate the automatic content of database journalism -- weather, sudoku, crosswords, horoscopes, rote agate -- that doesn't require a lot of human effort, he might just have a winner.

What's the impact for athletics? Think this way. Your iPhone/Android phone apps bring the news to the individual where they are via quick updates, CoverItLive blogging or streaming content. Your future iPad/Android pad presentation is the chance to make messaging in long form. Return of the alumni magazine or the booster newsletter -- as long as the content is compelling and unique (doesn't do a lot of good if its just repurposed press releases from the website).

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