So, media behemoth Rupert Murdoch's digital newspaper The Daily, scheduled for launch in January has been delayed. This much-discussed, new format news source for i-Pad (when finally available), will be a subscription only service and looks likely to signal the direction in which all online news providers will ultimately be heading.
Corp. has dedicated considerable effort and resource into the
ambitious project, gathering a relatively young, progressive team
of 100 staff, overseen by a few seasoned media veterans. Although
The Daily will initially be available only to i-Pad users, plans to
broaden the product's accessibility to other tablet computers are
in the pipeline. Subscription rates will reportedly cost just 99
cents per week, considerably less than buying a physical daily
The many comments and concerns about News Corps. famously political bias, and how that may influence The Daily's editorial content have been quashed with counter claims that the publication's news copy and opinions will be uniquely generated with a balanced view, offering both conservative and liberal outlooks. Murdoch's media empire, which includes Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, is infamous for its proclivity toward a distinctly right-winged agenda. However, strictly as a businessman, the media mogul appears to share his allegiance with whoever offers him the best deal, and his political leanings and support have been known to shift considerably over the years. To prove The Daily a success, he knows better than to deliberately alienate potential core readership by nailing any specific colors to his mast at this stage.
But what of the future of such products as The Daily? Will this finally signal the end to free online newspaper content, and prove to be the model by which all other media organizations structure their business? Is there a chance that the lure of advertising revenue, always essential to physical newspapers' existence, will compromise readability by infesting the page with annoying pop-ups selling everything from vehicles to toothpaste? And ultimately, will The Daily actually offer anything worth paying for?