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News Corp considers news organization devoted to iPad, other tablets


The popularity of Apple's iPad has prompted media giant News Corp. to consider starting a news organization that would provide content specifically for a new subscription service for tablet devices.

The Financial Times reported Friday that the company has not yet made a decision on the matter, but is expected to make a move this autumn. Officials with the company see such a venture as an opportunity to help News Corp. transition into the digital era for news.

If created, the news organization would have its own staff and be its own, entirely new entity.

"The ambitious undertaking under consideration would be another test of consumers' appetite to pay for news," the report said. "The momentum behind developing a tablet-centric product is driven by a belief that readers are willing to pay for portability. News Corp's early progress in selling subscriptions on the iPad has inspired the company to consider the new business."

In May, News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch revealed that his publication The Wall Street Journal had already gained more than 64,000 active iPad users. Then in June, he praised the device and the potential for it at the annual D: All Things Digital Conference.

In addition, this week the Journal began soliciting iPad users in the New York City metropolitan area, asking them to participate in group sessions in August to help improve their application available on the App Store.

"We are very interested in hearing about your experiences with the iPad, the Wall Street Journal app, and other news apps," Alan Murray, the paper's online executive editor said in an e-mail sent out on Wednesday and obtained by AppleInsider. Users selected for the study will receive $200 for their participation.

The Times said the efforts by News Corp. are viewed internally as "an honest attempt" at transforming journalism.

"If News Corp gives the green light to the tablet-centric news organisation plans, it will hire a new staff while borrowing fro the resources, but not the content, of its news assets, which include the New York Post and Down Jones," author Kenneth Li wrote. "The product would include coverage of news, entertainment, sports and politics."