Talk about lofty. With an iPad app launching at the end of next month, American Media’s National Enquirer is looking to “reinvent gossip” reports the New York Times.
Enquirer Plus, as the app is so aptly named, will feature exclusive content developed by a separate staff from the magazine and will target a younger market. Yep, it is trying to c0mpete with digital gossip leaders like TMZ and PerezHilton since the average age of a National Enquirer reader is like 80. No, really it’s 46.5. The goal is to transfer the brand to an exciting digital platform, while making it super cool and very gossipy.
“This is not your mother’s Enquirer,” said David J. Pecker, American Media’s chairman and chief executive.
Former presidential candidate John Edwards has been all over the news this week, due to his (not surprising) admission of paternity of his admitted mistress’s baby, possibly spurred by the best selling book Game Changedebuting this week, which features in-depth descriptions of Edwards’ actions during the 2008 campaign, including his denial of the affair.
Now the publication that broke the story, supermarket tabloid The National Enquirer plans to submit its work for a Pulitzer Prize, the most prestigious award in journalism. As Game Change explains, when the paper broke the story in 2007, the mainstream media brushed it off as sensational storytelling and mainly ignored it. But executive editor Barry Levine told The Washington Post‘s media reporter Howard Kurtz that this week’s admissions have resulted in “vindication” for the tab.
“It’s clear we should be a contender for this,” Levine told Kurtz of the Pulitzer, referring to his paper’s revelations about the affair and Edwards’ paternity of Frances Quinn Hunter. “The National Enquirer, a supermarket tabloid, was able to publish this reporting.”
Although a Pulitzer for the Enquirer would set these awards on its head, we may not get to see such a thing this year; Kurtz points out that the tabloid’s best work on the Edwards story was done in 2007 and 2008, and this year’s prizes will honor work for 2009. Still, for a prize that has never even gone to an online news outlet, any shake up in the Pulitzer world would hint that the respected award recognizes the changing landscape of the media today. In reality, a nomination or award for The National Enquirer or TMZ might not be that far off, as long as they keep producing solid investigative journalism and breaking important news — assuming the Pulitzer committee can separate that work from the sensational things that are published by those sources.
“There’s a certain glee that the media has when someone who is big and perfect like Tiger Woods falls,” Jason said. “They pounce ten times harder than they would if say, Britney Spears would have had the same thing happen to her over the weekend.”
“If you’re an important or famous person today, you just can’t have an affair,” Matt said. “It just can’t happen. You’re going to get busted…Shame on Tiger, who seems like a smart guy.”