Updates to this story
Following months of cooing over the iPad, the device Murdoch has described as a “game changer”, media mogul Rupert Murdoch gave a clear indication that he will continue his love-in with Apple's chief exec Steve Jobs as he acknowledged the existence of the new enterprise on the Fox Business Network.
Up until this point there had been unconfirmed rumours that a major launch was on the horizon, with two employees saying that a launch is expected before the end of the year, though the interview last week was the first explicit mention of the Daily’s existence. When asked during the interview what “exciting projects” News Corp was currently working on Murdoch cited the Daily, although no further details of the newspaper were given at that time.
According to the Taipei Times it is thought the total staff on the project will amount to somewhere in the region of 150, with $30 million set aside for the first year of its launch.
A number of names have been bandied around for various positions including Jesse Angelo, executive editor of the New York Post, Richard Johnson, former editor of a gossip page for the Post, and Greg Clayman, former head of Viacom’s digital division who is thought to be head of business operations at the Daily. Meanwhile Sasha Frere-Jones is believed to be being enlisted as culture editor, leaving her post as music critic at The New Yorker Magazine.
Murdoch clearly has high hopes for the touch screen tablet, seeing it as the perfect vehicle for his drive to enforce paywalls throughout the newspaper industry, calling the device a “glimpse of the future”.
“There’s going to be tens of millions of these things sold all over the world. It may be the saving of newspapers because you don’t have the costs of paper, ink, printing, trucks," said Murdoch.
“I’m old, I like the tactile experience of the newspaper,” he explained, but “if you have less newspapers and more of these, that’s OK. It doesn’t destroy the traditional newspaper, it just comes in a different form.”
It has not been mentioned so far how any paywall would function precisely, but it seems inevitable that some sort of pay structure will be enforced with virtually all News Corp publications charging some sort of a subscription fee, including access to online versions of The Wall Street Journal and The Times.
The recent Webby Debates prompted discussion about the need for paywalls, though it seems that whatever your point of view it is clear that their proliferation is inevitable to some degree. But what is creating increasing concern is the growing links between the mainstream media and Apple.
With concerns being voiced over a potential media bias already, quite how the Daily will be able to provide objectivity is hard to fathom.