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Robert Andrews at PaidContent has a brief piece on News Corp’s UK papers The Times and The Sun getting excited about using the iPad to “break with a century-old British tradition of not publishing an edition on Christmas Day,” in the hope of catching the attention of Christmas recipients of new iPads.

But these iPad editions were, Andrews points out, little more than self-promotion vehicles, containing largely Christmas stuff and editorials about how awesome the iPad and paywalls are. What little news content they did contain was often outdated by the newspaper websites, which were updated throughout the day whereas the iPad edition was not.

As Andrews says:

Their editors excitement about belies the reality that proprietors see these iPad editions as analogous to print, not to their other digital activities – despite the UK’s Christmas Day print shutdown, newspaper websites have long been published through the day on skeleton staff.

It continues to be odd to me that papers and magazines insist on pinning their hopes on these dedicated tablet editions when the web versions are better suited to the way most people want to read (and share) news, and are just as readily available on connected devices.

 
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