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Saturday, 10 April 2010

"All media's going to go onto the iPad," says Rupert Murdoch, interviewed while attending the Abu Dhabi 2010 Media Summit in March. "If you see a newspaper photograph - I don't think it's possible at the moment but in time it'll happen - you just want to touch it and it'll become a video. And particularly with advertising. You see an advertisement and you're interested, you touch it and it becomes a 30-second commercial."

Time magazine in the current issue has an editorial ('Ushering in a new era') describing their efforts to accommodate the iPad as well as five pages of features on the new device.

"We're proud of TIME in the iPad and of the special features that will be in it, such as extra pictures, videos and a NewsFeed featuring the latest stories from TIME.com," writes managing editor Richard Stengel.

The interactive capability of the tablet computer - a device designed purely for media consumption, as writer Lev Grossman says in the same issue - has clearly not gone unnoticed by management. They are keen to deliver game-changing content that will secure a competitive advantage for their mastheads. After all, if Rupert Murdoch has the same vision as the editors of Time, there can be no secret as to how competition in the media, in future, will play out.

But nobody has mentioned where all this new video content will be coming from. Traditional news hacks may be well-versed in print style guides but how will they compete with the new graduates emerging from the dual-degree (media/IT) courses now being established. Of course, it's happening first in the US, but once the penny drops for the boffins, everyone will be offering similar courses of study.

And what about that video? How to secure a future for yourself if you haven't ever taken up a camera and run the raw footage through PC-based editing software? It's all very well to have a strong command of English, but the grammar of the moving image differs from that of the printed page.

I foresee strong demand for journalists who can make video, edit it, and publish it. Clearly, this will favour younger individuals entering the scene. Those who cannot grasp the new media may find themselves marginalised.

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