Media Magazine

Long Form Journalism Finds Perfect Home in the iPad

Posted on the 02 February 2012 by Themarioblog @garciainteract

TAKEAWAY: All that frequent talk about iPads being a “lean back” platform may be one reason that longer narratives do so well there.  A new app celebrates the long story.  Newspaper editors may take a cue from it. 

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Writers everywhere, celebrate.  Long form journalism may be the new black—-in the iPad, at least.  The longer narratives are back, but did they ever leave?

I have no doubt whatsoever that the iPad is a great platform for long form journalism.
The fact that , as we begin to hear from various sources, the iPad is a “lean back” platform, used primarily in the evening ( 8 to 10 pm, prime time iPad use in many cases), there is no reason to doubt that the time and mood will encourage users to read longer pieces for which they may have not had time during the day.

If, as I insist, the tablet is very close to the book in how we use it, when we use it, and how we approach it, then I can imagine that this new app, to be published by the appropriately called, will be well received.  Based on the information provided, the app will initially feature’s top 25 most popular sources, which range from the websites of monthly magazines like GQ, The Atlantic and The New Yorker to online-only offerings such as The Awl, Grantland and Longreads (a like-minded aggregator).

The app premiered Feb. 1 and I have downloaded it for a look.

As an aggregator, this app takes the user to a variety of publications where a specific article can be found and read in its entirety.

The app is simple and easy to use, basically two elements in the navigator: Readability, which stores reading list articles you want to read later; one can also bookmark within the Longform app and from anywhere on the web.

This app works both in vertical and horizontal landscape modes. It costs $4.99 to download the app.

The offerings for “long form reading,” provide an incredible variety of topics, such as:

The first sexual revolution: lust and liberty in the 18th century (

Con artist starred in sting that cost Google millions (

Let the robot drive (

The story of a suicide (

and, a fun one,

It’s Saturday Night! (

As everything else with the iPad, stories will have to be better to justify being longer.

In one of my workshops this week, to a regional newspaper group, I reminded them that it is more difficult to be an editor, a designer, and, of course, a publisher in today’s media environment.  The demands are greater for creative and innovative people who decide to work in tablet publishing.

App fun with the Oscars

The New York Times and Facebook launch app for Oscars

First paragraph: The New York Times and Facebook have joined hands for a social media project that will allow users to cast and share their interactive ballots for this year’s Academy Awards with their Facebook friends.Users can access the Oscar Ballot App on to view the official nominations and select a winner for each category.

My take: This is the type of interaction between users and the media that we will be seeing more of in the future.  I am curious and delighted to see the NYTimes and Facebook alliance for interestint projects like this. It is a clear indication of the dramatic change that has taken place in our industry, with even the major media players, like the Times, coming to terms with the extremely important social media, and coming to the central square to join it.  Moments that redefine the media, circa 2012, and where the audience wins big time.


TheMarioBlog post #939


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