Monday, February 14, 2011

Memo Pad: Jacob Weisberg Blasts The Daily... Arrival at Departures... -

Slate chairman Jacob Weisberg certainly didn’t mince words about Rupert Murdoch’s new baby The Daily in a lecture to journalism students at Columbia University last Thursday. Looking very professorial standing behind the podium in a blazer and blue jeans, with a low-hanging scarf around his neck, he said of News Corp.’s new iPad newspaper, “It represents everything that I hope you will steer clear of as journalists and people who think about news in relation to technology. I mean, first of all the content itself is very low-brow, facile, kind of USA Today, you know. It’s very attractive, but if you read the articles, they’re 600 words long and they sort of digest what you know already.

“It’s a daily, it’s once a day,” he continued. “They say they break in and update it for big news, but did they update it five times today to point out that [Egyptian president Hosni] Mubarak was going to resign though he didn’t in fact resign, what’s the response to that? No, they may have updated it at some point. It’s a digest, it doesn’t have an active relationship [with the news] that we’ve come to expect. There’s no commenting, no social media, no links out. ”

But how did he really feel? “It’s just a bad version of a newspaper in electronic form with a very condescending view of the audience.”