Newsweek to cease print edition, go digital-only with iPad & other platforms

The rising cost of print has forced Newsweek to go digital-only starting in 2013, leaving its iPad app as one of the few ways to read the nearly 80-year-old publication.

The new

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page for Newsweek was announced by the publication and its parent company, The Daily Beast, in a post to its official website on Thursday. Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown and CEO Baba Shetty cited the “challenging economics of print publishing and distribution.”

“We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it,” they wrote. “We remain committed to Newsweek and to the journalism that it represents. This decision is not about the quality of the brand or the journalism — that is as powerful as ever.”

Shetty and Brown said Newsweek has seen a rapidly growing reader base on tablets such as Apple’s market dominating iPad. They believe digital storefronts — such as Apple’s Newsstand for iOS, as well as the Kindle, Zinio and Nook stores — are “superb” platforms for the publication.

As of Thursday, “Newsweek for iPad” was the No. 45 most popular free application on the iPad App Store, and it ranked No. 37 among the top grossing applications. Users have rated it an average of 2.5 stars out of 5, criticizing it for technical issues such as crashes and missing stories.

Newsstand

Apple’s Newsstand debuted last year with the launch of iOS 5. Some companies, such as magazine publisher Future, have seen strong initial success on the iPad. One study released earlier this year estimated that total iPad users spend an average of $70,000 per day on Newsstand content.

 

Source: Katie Marshal, Apple Insider

INTERACTIVE BOOK – A BRIDGE TOO FAR FOR PUBLISHERS

Another year passed and once again book related businessmen and women alike, as well as traders gather around in the gigantic halls of the Frankfurt Messe to witness the glorious exhibition and demonstration of strength from renown publishers of the world. The glossy and glittery image of each exhibitor’s pavilion furnished with refreshments and well groomed personnel signifies years of heritage, pedigree, exclusivity, and old money. In a way, everyone has to keep up with the appearances no matter how bad reality is.

At the hall’s cafes and smoking areas, one could start to read between the lines…this is a very stricken and poorly industry.

The publishing world although excluding Malaysia, has taken its toll with the new media revolution. It is a turning point that even the biggest and best publishers cannot cope with. All that has changed is the medium – from shops to online.

 

But does the story just stop there? Definitely not. Well, not long than a year ago, the mind set of publishers were still very skeptical and protective over digital matters. Publishers were afraid of entering an arena that they were not familiar with and as a reaction, they deploy army of lawyers to draft out very difficult contracts to comply to, especially for the digital world. It made matters worst, because whilst their verbatim digital contents are hard to distribute, this occurrence actually opened up the gate to independent and self-publishers who are not too fuss about control and digital boundaries.

Now it seems that everyone can publish, and publishers have another thing to compete for.

What is amazing is that although publishers are admitting to a sudden shift towards new media, not many are actually doing anything about it. Many assume that it is another series of false alarms which has occurred before in the late 90’s and the turn of the century. Many more have not noticed that the digital content demand is shifting fast towards interactive contents rather than flat style static image verbatim ebooks. With this, you then see many publishers still boasting about their “thousands title” verbatim ebook catalogue, but still struggling to produce a single interactive book.

The demand for user experience amongst the young are not of those verbatim stuff any more. They have shorter attention span, and prefer items to be straight to the point. This sentiment will leave out many big publishers to be dinosaurs. Whilst jumping to verbatim ebooks seems rather easy for many because of the outsourcing activities with the mushrooming digital conversion houses in India, the interactive book arena is still left to be a clean slate.

It is evident that publishers are clueless and struggling to understand the trend today, but what is more worrying is that publishers believe that by outsourcing the digital process, they could overcome this problem.

Contents are always crucial in today’s lifestyle, be it television, radio, news, story etc, and to make it interactive as well as impressive and good reading is a melting pot of challenges that is still on the table for anyone to resolve.

 

E-SENTRAL DI PESTA BUKU FRANKFURT 2012 – BERITA EBOOK

Penyertaan Xentral Methods di Pesta Buku Frankfurt 2012 telah bermula dengan impak yang positif. Pengunjung bisnes tidaklah begitu ramai pada hari pertama, namun Xentral Methods telah mengambil perhatian pelbagai pihak, terutamanya dari penerbit kandungan digital luar negara. Berikutan ini, kemungkinan pada jangka masa yang terdekat akan terdapat lebih banyak pilihan eBuku bahasa Inggeris di e-Sentral.

e-Sentral juga telah memberi demonstrasi dan perbentangan sistem di pentas Pesta Buku Frankfurt 2012.

Antara berita-berita menarik yang telah berlaku pada hari pertama adalah pengambil-alihan syarikat teknologi eBuku bernama Aquafadas oleh Kobo.

JALAN SERIBU LIKU

Mengisahkan konflik jiwa seorang gadis bernama Christina Sita Dewi. Bapanya, Edward Tan penganut agama Kristian sementara ibunya, Natasha Carl Ferdinand, penganut agama Hindu. Christina Sita Dewi keliru sehingga akhirnya dia tidak yakin terhadap agama. Kemalangan jalan raya yang dialaminya, bagaimanapun, membuka minda bawah sedarnya dan membawanya kepada suatu perubahan rohani.

ULASAN:

Penulis buku ini, Dr Maskiah Hj Masrom terkenal sebagai penulis yang gigih berkarya, selain telah meraih pelbagai anugerah dalam pelbagai sayembara, antaranya Hadiah Sastera Berunsur Islam anjuran DBP, Hadiah Sastera Darul Takzim, Hadiah Esei Sastera Rakyat, Hadiah Sayembara Cerpen Negeri Johor, Anugerah Kualiti Kategori Penulisan Kreatif Pensyarah IPG, online casino dan banyak lagi. Novel Jalan Seribu Liku ini yang telah memenangi pelbagai anugerah dan telah diulang cetak beberapa kali sejak tahun 1999, mengupas tema dan persoalan tentang agama.

 

Petikan teks dari novel:

        “Dalam kuliah-kuliah Dr. Izzudin, banyak dia memasukkan hujah-hujah menolak kewujudan Tuhan… semalam dia mengatakan bahawa manusia berasal daripada monyet. Dr Izzudin juga cuba memfitnah Islam dengan berkata bahawa Ibnu Khaldun turut bersetuju dengan teori Evolusi…”

 

Pelbagai teknik perceritaan yang digunakan seperti teknik flashback, teknik konvensional melalui gambaran watak, teknik diari dan  unsur mimpi, menjadikan novel ini begitu menarik untuk dibaca.

MISTERI TELAGA TUM BRATMA

Misteri melanda Salihin. Bermula dengan gangguan mimpi yang  menakutkan, kemudian penyakit gatal yang menyerang tiba-tiba dan tidak sembuh-sembuh. Lebih pelik, dia dikatakan menghidap kedal, sakat, penyakit turun-temurun, menyebabkannya hilang pekerjaan, hilang tumpuan, hilang harga diri, dan mungkin… hilang nyawa!

Akan tetapi, apa kaitan semua yang melandanya dengan Tum Bratma, telaga yang dikatakan misteri? Adakah semuanya tahyul belaka, atau sekadar kebetulan? Atau sememangnya ada misteri di sebaliknya?

 

ULASAN:

Satu lagi novel Radzemah Bolhassan, kali ini berunsur mistik. Novel ini turut mengetengahkan tema warisan dan budaya apabila menjadikan salah satu tapak bersejarah di kawasan pedalaman Sarawak sebagai fokus penceritaan. Unsur misterinya dipaparkan apabila dalam cerita ini telaga berkembar Tum Bratma dikatakan menghantui hidup watak utamanya, Salihin. 

        Petikan teks dari novel:

“Tum Bratma antara khazanah masyarakat Melanau. Perlu diketengahkan, dipelihara. Orang luar beriya-iya nak bawa keluar. Orang di sini malah tak peduli. Masih ramai yang tak tahu tentang Tum Bratma…”Unsur pantang-larang masyarakat setempat juga diketengahkan apabila Salihin diceritakan menghidap penyakit kulit atau kedal yang tidak sembuh-sembuh disebabkan terkena tulah kerana melanggar pantang-larang nenek moyang masyarakat Melanaunya.

Dengan bahasa yang mudah, novel yang mengangkat unsur mistik ini sesuai untuk pembaca umum.

Peraturan Larang Pelajar Bawa, Guna Telefon Bimbit Di Sekolah Masih Kekal

 

KUALA LUMPUR: Setakat ini Kementerian Pelajaran (KPM) masih mengekalkan peraturan larangan membawa dan menggunakan telefon bimbit oleh pelajar sekolah melalui Surat Pekeliling Ikhtisas Bil. 2/2009.

Menteri Pelajaran, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin berkata, satu sesi perbincangan meja bulat telah diadakan pada 25 Ogos lepas melibatkan pihak berkepentingan antaranya pengetua, guru dan ibu bapa membincangkan keperluan serta cadangan berkaitan penggunaan peralatan komunikasi oleh pelajar sekolah.

“KPM sedang meneliti secara menyeluruh pendapat serta pandangan masyarakat termasuk tokoh akademik, pemimpin badan bukan kerajaan (NGO), guru, ibu bapa danmurid-murid sebelum satu keputusan muktamad diumumkan,” kata Muhyiddin yang juga Timbalan Perdana Menteri dalam jawapan bertulis kepada soalan Liang Teck Meng(BN-Simpang Renggam) di Parlimen di sini, Rabu.

Liang ingin tahu perkembangan terkini mengenai hasrat kementerian itu membenarkan pelajar sekolah membawa telefon bimbit dan alat-alat elektronik ke sekolah serta kesan sampingan sekiranya dasar ini dilaksanakan.

Muhyiddin berkata, kementerian telah menjalankan kajian dalam kalangan pelajar serta guru sekolah bagi mendapatkan pandangan mengenai penggunaan peralatan komunikasi di sekolah.

Katanya, kajian melibatkan 274 responden itu dijalankan di sembilan sekolah di daerah Seremban dan Port Dickson.

Pada Julai lepas, kementerian itu mengusulkan cadangan membenarkan pelajarmembawa peralatan komunikasi seperti telefon bimbit dan iPad ke sekolah bermulatahun depan.

Bagaimanapun, cadangan itu mendapat bantahan terutama daripada persatuan ibubapa dan guru yang rata-rata berpandangan langkah tersebut akan mengundang lebihbanyak masalah selain menjejaskan pembelajaran pelajar. – BERNAMA (Khamis, 4 Oktober 2012)

New 2013 Malaysian budget gives a boost for new media

 

The 2013 budget announced on the 28th Sept included few elements which should benefit the digital industry. On article 120 of the new budget, includes:

 120. A majority of the 22% of Malaysians who use smartphones to surf the
Internet are youths. To enable the youths to access the information
highway, a special package will be introduced by the Government with the
cooperation between the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission
(SKMM) and telecommunications companies. Through the Youth Communication
Package, a one-off rebate of RM200 will be provided for the purchase of one
unit of 3G smartphone from authorised dealers. The initiative is for youths
aged between 21 to 30 years with a monthly income of RM3,000 and below. A
sum of RM300 million is allocated benefiting 1.5 million youths.

Comparing to neighbouring countries such as Singapore, which their Multimedia Development Authority recently announced that digital penetration have already reached 90%, Malaysia is still lacking behind. Perhaps with this budget initiative, the digital paradigm shift should be

sped up.