Will The iPad Save Journalism? Let’s Find Out

Many think the iPad represents the future of journalism. Who couldn’t like news conveniently delivered to the popular Apple tablet, displayed with newspaper-style type treatments and widescreen video in high definition? Lots of people are joining the iPad 2 club each day; Apple sold 4.69 million iPads during the second quarter of fiscal year 2011. So what does the device really mean for journalism?

I’m about to find out, because I’ll be getting an iPad in a few weeks! I will be using this space to share with you, on occasion, my experiences with the device, good and bad, and what the device means for journalism. We’ll call these posts jPad: The Future?

My iPad will not likely arrive until the end of the month, but here’s some “what” and “why.”

I plan to use my iPad mostly at home, and hope it is a good cross between reading news in a print newspaper or magazine and reading it on a full computer. At least at first, I will continue to get my news in print and on a full computer, too. Perhaps if I am truly blown away, the iPad will become a full substitute.

I hope the posts in this series will include some technical details as well as general reviews of journalism-related apps.

One thing I will say up front: the iPad still has a high barrier to entry — its high cost — that is currently preventing it from wide enough adoption to “save journalism.” Print media is cheap enough for everyone to afford and most Americans have access to a regular computer at least through their school or workplace. The iPad, on the other hand, is an “extra” device that not everyone can afford. But over time, as the cost of technology drops, the iPad could truly be the future.

Thanks for coming along for the ride. I’ll report back after I unbox the iPad in a few weeks.

But first, I need your help. What are your favorite news apps for the iPad? Reply below in the comments, or tweet them out using the hashtag #jpad. I’ll list a few in my next jPad post!