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For the past week, readers of South African upstart news and analysis site, Daily Maverick, have been teased with ads promising: “A tablet to improve your mental health” and the launch of “something to make the news a pleasure to digest”.
Now the news is out. Launched from the ashes of the failed Maverick Magazines, the Daily Maverick is looking to shake-up the local digital-journalism scene with the launch of a new daily news-based iPad app which it describes as “South Africa’s first daily newspaper specifically designed for the iPad.”
This is a significant move because this is a small media company with strong print roots that has turned its back on the print world, launching a print-like product directly to the iPad platform. Daily Maverick became an online-only news site when its magazine closed, unable to raise enough advertising.
Though officially announced on Wednesday, the iPad app is only expected to go live later this year in August.
Daily Maverick boss Branko Brkic said of this new offering in a press statement: “The iPad, the most desirable device on the planet, is transforming people’s experience of news and content. We’re taking the next logical step with Daily Maverick by launching a fully-featured newspaper that helps readers understand the world by giving them the best read on their tablet every day.”
The images supplied to Memeburn look very much like magazine pages, with very little iPad functionality evident. Brkic assured Memeburn that the idea behind the future app, was to replicate a print experience on an iPad, with good quality daily journalism as its primary focus rather than extensive functionality.
“It makes sense that a subscription-based, daily iPad newspaper is the next generation of Daily Maverick. We’ve been credited for upping the game of providing news, analysis and commentary since we launched,” he went to say.
Describing just what iMaverick would be, Brkic said it would “…be a daily newspaper for South Africans who care about their brains and want to understand what’s happening in the world for the cost of a daily cup of coffee.”
With regard to the editorial strategy of iMaverick, he said: “Anyone can distribute information – all you need to do is subscribe to a news agency and cut and paste articles. We take a radically different approach with original, crusading journalism and opinion that seeks to challenge people’s thinking. We create understanding.”
Brkic also pointed out that iMaverick will widen the range of topics that Daily Maverick has covered and will include both long and short form journalism “…so readers can see all the important news at a glance, but also delve deep into the issues they care about.”
To ensure that it continues to deliver the depth of reporting and analysis readers of the Daily Maverick have come to expect, Brkic also announced the expansion of his editorial team.
By the time iMaverick launches, the current editorial team of ten will have grown to 25. Brkic also promised that these additions to his editorial team would include some “big name journalists”.
The Maverick team has been working with official Apple distributors to bundle the sales of the iPad2 with the new App-newspaper. For readers who do not have an iPad, a subscription to iMaverick will be offered bundled with an iPad 2. At the moment the Maverick team has not decided how much a normal subscription will cost.
The current Daily Maverick website will continue to publish as it has always done as a free offering.