Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Series of Sun newspapers (Canada) eEditions appear in the Apple Newsstand, built by NewspaperDirect

This was a tough way to start my day, looking in the Apple Newsstand and seeing new apps for the Sun newspapers from Canada. These new tablet editions, or eEditions as they are called here, are like walking into a carnival tent and being presented by all the deformities humanity has to offer. These papers are the bearded ladies and Siamese twins of the newspaper business. Only here we get Sunshine girls and raving right-wing rants.

For unknown reasons a whole series of new apps appeared in the Newsstand today as new releases despite the fact that many of them have release dates that are a month old. The apps are Calgary Sun eEdition, Edmonton Sun eEdition, Ottawa Sun eEdition, Toronto Sun eEdition, and Winnipeg Sun eEdition. Two other apps for Journal de Montréal and Journal de Québec appeared earlier. Each of the apps are universal.

The app descriptions on these apps look like they were an afterthought with no real screenshots, and in some cases terrible typos (the app description of the Winnipeg Sun has the city missed spelled in one place.)

Like all of the new apps coming out of NewspaperDirect one could see these apps for the Sun tabloids as merely replica editions, But these apps have a button called SmartFlow that transforms the app into something that looks more like the NYT's iPad edition.
Fans of the Murdoch press and Golden Dawn no doubt love these newspaper tabloids but I can read more than a page of two without my stomach turning. This is the face of the industry that few journalists like to talk about when discussing press regulations or the public's opinion of the industry.

The Toronto Sun, for instance, this morning blasts out the headline "Bullies!" for a series of stories attacking teacher's unions for having anti-Islamophobia seminars as in the view of the Sun, teaching hatred is itself a hateful thing. The next page blasts out "MAD WITH POWER" and claims that teacher's unions "want to wage war against the government at any cost."

No doubt I would be considered a "Lefty" by the editors of the Sun newspapers – a term seen frequently in the pages of these newspapers to describe just about anyone.

The Sun newspapers are part of the Quebecor media empire and apparently are not doing very well. Last month the company announced that 500 positions, approximately 10 percent of the workforce, would be laid off due to declining revenues.

"Although our circulation revenue has stabilized due to strategic pricing increases, the advertising sector continues to experience declines through the news and media industry," chief executive Pierre Karl Peladeau said at the time of the announcement.