The Great Tablet Newspaper Experiment Ends

How does a news organization squander $30 million? Launch an iPad-only newspaper with great fanfare, only to shut down 18 months later. News Corps’ tablet newspaper fails for many reasons, some related to necessary restructuring of larger operations.

But ultimately, The Daily fails for lack of good editorial content and oversight. The app/publication is is too much like a digitized USA Today for people with sixth-grade reading comprehension.

Additionally, editors brought print journalism attitudes with them: obsession with perfection before publication. I don’t see that The Daily ever practiced what journalism professor Jeff Jarvis calls “process journalism“.

Then there is the iPad as a publishing platform, which immersive-reading characteristics are better suited to magazines than dailies or hourlies.

As a journalist, I really pined for The Daily to succeed. The Google economy, which favors giving away valuable content for free, devastates the news business. Publications can’t afford to pay senior staff, while aggregators and bloggers fill the InterWebs with poorly sourced stories or rumors. A daily newspaper, conceived and created for digital publication that people pay for, promised so much. But The Daily delivered too little compelling original content originally presented. Sigh.