The online advantage

December 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

When I first started analyzing The Daily Beast as an online-only magazine, I thought of it only in the context of a website for a magazine. I’ve since realized that while The Daily Beast is separated by topics, has dependable departments and an all-encompassing tone of voice, it is quite different from a print magazine.

It may have the same combination of multi-source reporting and columns as a print magazine, but The Daily Beast is updated constantly. So while The Daily Beast can’t put as much thought into innovating design, it keeps up with the biggest headlines while providing commentary.

Since the beginning of my blog, the biggest change with The Daily Beast is the merger with Newsweek. This huge step means that the magazine will go from an online-only to a print mash-up with the well-known newsmagazine. It will be interesting to see if The Daily Beast can carry its unique tone of voice into this venture.

One of the most prominent stories on The Daily Beast is an exclusive by investigative reporter Philip Shenon about Russia blocking WikiLeaks about their government. In “Moscow’s Bid to Blow Up WikiLeaks,” Shenon gets his pivotal information about Russia vying to shut down the site from an unidentified U.S. law-enforcement official and an unidentified military official.

However, he supplements these with insights from a professor that specializes in Russia and a former journalist from the Soviet Union. While it was probably not possible to identify people within the administration saying these things, it makes Shenon more credibly by seeking out other expert sources that can talk about it from a hypothetical perspective.

All in all, the story reads much like a news story, but it illustrates The Daily Beast’s ability to discuss breaking news. If The Daily Beast existed as solely a weekly or monthly print magazine this would be much more difficult.

 

Online spirit now to be captured in print

December 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

The Daily Beast is owned by IAC, which is considered a company operated in the “Internet Services and Retailing Sector.”

In addition to The Daily Beast, IAC owns many popular websites, including reference sites Ask.com and Dictionary.com. Also the company owns video sites, College Humor and Vimeo, and Match.com.

For the most part, The Daily Beast is the only website that the company owns that provides news. Other sites offer services or host information. The Daily Beast is the only “online magazine” owned by IAC.

Though The Daily Beast originally existed as a standalone online magazine, but a recent “media marriage” with Newsweek means The Daily Beast is getting its own ancillary product of sorts. The creation of The Newsweek Daily Beast Company means that it is now equally owned by IAC and Newsweek.

Editor-in-chief, Tina Brown will now preside over both. The changes will mean that the spirit of this online magazine will now exist in print.

 

 

 

 

An aggregation of accomplished journalists

November 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

While a career as a prominent reporter at The Daily Beast would be hard to come by, a link for job postings is at the bottom of the main page. At the moment only one position is listed, a temporary editorial assistant that would contribute content for the “Cheat Sheet.”

The regular contributers to The Daily Beast have a variety of credentials. Nicole LaPorte, who wrote “The Perils of Celebrity Pregnancy,” also wrote a book about DreamWorks. Peter Beinart, a senior political writer, also wrote a book and is currently a professor at the City University of New York. Bryan Curtis, a national correspondent, has also previously written for GQ and New York. Most of the contributers to The Daily Beast have extensive journalism backgrounds with top newspapers or magazines or have written books.

Tina Brown, the editor of The Daily Beast, has been editor at Tatler, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and her own magazine, Talk. She has also had her own CNBC show and wrote a best-seller.

Most of the stories on The Daily Beast are multi-source reported. There are some blogs and columns, but it also balances these with stories. Nicole LaPorte’s story about celebrity pregnancy traumas has expert sources like obstetricians and the entertainment direct as Us Weekly. Bryan Curtis’ story about Republican congressman Steve King has an interview with King and other politicians.

For the most part, the tone of The Daily Beast is informative for the more serious stories and witty for everything else. As Brown wanted “sexy brain food” for her readers, stories provide information without being boring.

 

 

 

 

 

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