Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Students from the University of Leeds launch the first U.K. student newspaper into Apple's Newsstand

One of the very first newspaper apps to appear for the iPad was from the students at Abilene Christian University. Their app for The Optimist was released just days after initial launch of the iPad in the U.S. in 2010.

Now the students who publish Leeds Student, the student newspaper from the University of Leeds, have launched their own iPad edition today – the first U.K. student newspaper to appear in the App Store.
Leeds Student Newspaper for iPad is a free app that was created by the student newspaper team including Jack Dearlove, the digital editor, and Lizzie Edmonds, the paper's editor. The app can be found in Newsstand. Readers can sign up for a free yearly subscription so that their newspaper will be downloaded automatically to their iPad.

I spoke to Dearlove via Twitter to find out more about the new app.

"It's all built using @QuarkXPress & their amazingly easy & cheap tools (we also use Quark to build our 'traditional' paper)," Dearlove told me via Twitter.

The app sports both portrait and landscape layouts. There is a January issue available, as well as a newer one from February 3. (The screenshots here are from the January issue.) The

I asked Dearlove how many people on campus does believes would be able to access the iPad edition. He said that the paper currently gets about 50 people who access the website via their iPads, so the audience for the new tablet edition would probably be fairly low.
"It's an experiment really, 10 years time it might be the only way we publish," Dearlove said.

In some ways it is surprising that there haven't been more student papers appearing in the App Store. The creation of an app for the paper being a great class assignment. ACU's iPad app was created by the collaboration of the tech department and the journalism department.

Last year Odd Magazine was released as an iPad edition by the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. The app was the work of Jelle de Weert, 23, who created an app almost a gig in size, adding nearly 100 new digital pages to the existing print edition.

Left: the Leeds Student Newspaper can be read in both portrait and landscape; Right: a story in the January issue with an embedded slideshow.