TNT app: A better news experience

Executive editorSeptember 23, 2012 

The latest version of The News Tribune – not quite a newspaper, not quite a website – is quickly gaining popularity.

We’ve launched a so-called “e-edition” application for iPad tablets that allows readers to leaf through a digital replica of the paper much the way they do the ink-on-paper version. Many tablet users have begun buying magazines on their iPads and are becoming comfortable with the format.

Once they download the app and complete the registration, readers simply click on the TNT icon and that day’s front page comes up on their screen. They click on a story to enlarge it for easier reading. They click on the “jump” line at the end and go straight to the rest of the story.

The app allows readers to turn from page to page by sliding their finger across the screen or go directly to the section or page of their choosing. The “Recent Issues” button lets them look back at any issue from the previous seven days. They can click on the reporter’s email address at the end of a story to send him or her a note. They can share a story with a friend on Facebook.

The app also allows offline reading on an airplane or any place else without connectivity.

Many in our industry saw the e-editions as a bridge for people transitioning from the printed paper to a website, but we’re finding them popular in their own right for a couple of reasons.

First, some online readers find newspaper websites overwhelmingly busy. Websites provide an unfiltered blast of the latest news, but with so many stories moving so quickly, it’s difficult know if you’ve seen them all.

We often hear that people enjoy the printed paper – and similarly the e-edition – because it’s a collection of stories selected for them by editors. It also makes the news stand still long enough for them to catch up and digest.

My co-panelist at an editor’s conference earlier this year, the managing editor of The New York Times, said he was surprised at the success of the e-editions. His e-readers told him they felt a sense of accomplishment in having “read the paper” from start to finish, something they didn’t feel when getting news from the website.

In the first two weeks after our iPad app went live – even before we began marketing it – 84 people found it in the App Store and downloaded it.

The app is free to 7-day-a-week TNT print subscribers and costs a few cents a week for Sunday-only or weekend subscribers. Nonsubscribers can purchase a digital-only subscription for $5.99 a month.

To get the app from your iPad, go to the App Store and enter “Tacoma News Tribune” in the search field. Click on the “install” button and then click on “sign in.” That will route you through the TNT subscription database so you’re charged the lesser amount if you already subscribe.

PHOTOJOURNALIST AWARDS

The Associated Press announced last week that TNT photographer Peter Haley won two awards in its annual Washington-Oregon photo contest.

The photo above – which Haley took this year during his embed with Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers in Afghanistan – won first place among larger papers in the feature photo category.

The judges commented: “Wonderful moment and a fresh look at the Afghanis in such turbulent times.”

A portfolio of Haley’s photos from Afghanistan won third place in the multiple-photos category of the contest.

karen.peterson@thenewstribune.com
253-597-8434
@TNTkpeterson

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