A first look at The Daily, Rupert Murdoch’s iPad newspaper

An official introduction to The Daily, Rupert Murdoch’s new iPad newspaper, is expected on Jan. 19, possibly at an event with Apple’s Steve Jobs. [Update: The launch date has now been pushed back.]

But peeking inside the source code of its recently-launched companion website, TheDaily.com, I came across the image below, which appears to be a house ad for the new app.

The Daily

The Daily staff has reportedly been producing sample editions of the tablet app for several weeks, so the covers shown here may represent that work.

The two headlines read, “Oprah’s Biggest Gamble” and “A Bridge Too Favre.” Aside from the pithy writing style and photo-dominated front page, it is difficult to discern much else about the personality or content of the publication.

The URL for the image, named “side_ad.jpg,” was embedded in the CSS for the new website. And, a few other clues may also have been buried in the site’s source code.

A section labeled “Story Carousel” includes links to icons that seem intended to function as forward and back buttons for paging through a selection of articles.

Another part of the code, labeled “Share Links,” may indicate the availability of Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Reddit and Newsvine article sharing options.

The appearance of social media options seems to align with earlier reporting that The Daily website would serve as an archive of tablet-first content — available for staffers to link to from Facebook, Twitter and other services.

In the “Footer” section, along with Twitter and Facebook, are links to icons for both Vimeo and YouTube.

A Javascript file included in the homepage indicates the presence of an embedded video player. But it is not clear how, or if, the publication is planning to distribute its content on video sharing sites. The app has been rumored to include significant photo and multimedia content, so it is possible some of that material could be shared more widely on the open Web.

Even more unclear is how the app, which will be available at a $4.25 monthly subscription, will integrate with a possibly free, though potentially limited, website. Evidence of a password-protected section of the site exists, but it is not apparent if that represents public-facing or administrative features.

Hopefully all of those questions, and more, will be answered next Wednesday when Murdoch and Jobs are rumored to appear on stage together for the official unveiling.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000203254498 Mark Gibson

    I feel as though we are losing our grasp of reality here… Everything is going artificial intelligence, and from my experience, thats not a good thing….. In our current state, kids can`t add, subtract, spell, make rational decisions, or function in the world at hand, without the aid of a fucking computer…..
    NO COMMON SENSE !!!!!!!!!!!!
    Pretty soon, you`ll have an RFID chip implanted in your hand, and be under they`re control in every way…
    Monetarily, Politically, and Spiritually…. They`ll be trying to tell us what to do, how to do it, what to think, what to say, and when to say it…….
    I`d rather live on a deserted island, if thats our future….. Your messing with God now……

  • Anonymous

    Jared -

    I understand that The Daily staff itself does not refer to it as a ‘newspaper.’ But in common practice it is most analogous to a paper – so for clarity-sake it seems fair enough to characterize it that way. Maybe that will change. But of course, we still “dial” our phones, so sometimes outdated labels just stick.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jaredthompsn Jared Thompson

    I think it is interesting that you called the Daily an online newspaper and not an online news publication or app. It goes to show that, despite our love affair with online news, newspapers are still relevant.

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  • http://sql-plsql.blogspot.com/ Sachin

    seems interesting …only time will tell whether it will be a hit or miss…..will it get the attention of millions of subscribers…..

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7JZFIK3AWY6DKT6EK734UG3I54 Totally

    Typical. A story telling us there is no story to tell us about. Hey, waste some more of my time, you twits!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Marshall!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Marshall!

  • Anonymous

    Joe -

    For better or worse, when there is little information available, we do sometimes resort to tea leaves. But, without a doubt, once this initiative launches (next week?) we will be covering the implications from top to bottom, including content, usability, business and technology.

    Thanks

    Damon

  • http://readwriteweb.com Marshall Kirkpatrick

    Fun!

  • http://twitter.com/JoeSheaUSA Joe Shea

    I think trying to read tea leaves in the way you have is a waste of time. Instead, all of us ought to be asking what the iPad user will do for news. Will he be likely to rely on Fox? If so, you know the consequences of that from the recent survey that showed FoxNews audiences know less and learn less from newscasts than do users of other sources; that’s one consequence. Are they not going to carry AP coverage? I find that interesting in the extreme.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Jeff. I am looking forward to seeing the app (hopefully) next week.

  • http://twitter.com/jeffreyrbunch jeffreyrbunch

    Great stuff, Damon: I love the code sleuthing! It will be interesting to see how this develops and if, like the WSJ, this type of funded effort is the exception or the rule as the Year of the Paywall progresses in media.