In case you haven't heard, Rubert Murdoch, with the help of Steve Jobs, is set to launch a digital newspaper exclusively for the iPad by month's end. It will be called the "Daily" and there will no print or even web edition. Yuck! Gross! Ick Poo!
According to Women's Wear Daily, who broke this story (go figure!), Jobs is a "major fan" of Murdoch's. Murdoch, in the meantime, is a major fan of the iPad calling it a "game changer". I guess online journalism makes for strange bedfellows. Keep in mind, Jobs is a very high profile democrat. Murdoch, on the other hand, is the godfather of Fox News.
Many are predicting Jobs will actually be on stage beside Murdoch at the launch announcement.
Politics aside, here are my five reasons why this is the worst idea since New Coke:
1. Steve jobs, himself, is a brand. When we think "Steve Jobs" we think of sleek, cool, hip devices. We think black turtle necks. We think insanely great and insanely successful. We think expensive, but worth it. We think simple and subtle. Murdoch is none of those things. Murdoch is all about screaming red headlines, screaming pundits, and shock and awe tabloid stories meant as red meat for the reptilian part of our brains. A project with Rubert Murdoch couldn't be more counter to Steve Jobs, the brand.
2. When Steve Jobs launches something, people camp out in lawn chairs to be his early adopters. As well as the iPad is selling, it is still early days. There's not enough potential reading audience out there to make an iPad newspaper relevant.
3. Murdoch's track record with digital ventures runs hot and cold. One word: MySpace.
4. The two reportedly want to create an eNewspaper that is optimized for a tablet. That part sounds great! Truly! Yes, Marshall Mcluhan still holds up. The medium is the message and we need to recognize the tablet is a new medium. However, that is more than optimizing content to be pinched, slid away, or tapped. The idea of what is news itself needs to be redefined too. An old news dawg, like Murdoch, is not the guy to do it. The content itself needs to be innovative.
5. Back to the idea of Murdoch working with Jobs. Given the two men, this is more than just the odd couple; it looks like pure hypocrisy. When it comes to technology, Murdoch shows he "doesn't get it". Jobs, on the other hand, is the "it" in "get it". What is the common ground between them besides trying to make a buck?