Over there, not here 

6 April 2010 tbs.pm/1178

Whilst the BBC Trust is trying to appear useful by blocking the UK launch of dedicated iPhone (and iPad) applications for various BBC services, BBC Worldwide has gone ahead and launched the iPad News app in the US where it is currently residing at 12 in the free apps chart, according to this PaidContent article.

Granted that the UK won’t have an iPad to call its own until later this month – and UK-centric news is less of a threat to the US news industry – but even so this is rather embarrassing when you consider the amount of noise the Flat Earth Society (or the Newspaper Publishers Association) has made on this issue.

This situation is even more ludicrous when you consider that various UK newspapers already have their own iPhone apps available, although any real anxiety relates to the recent decline in the print news industry, as well as the bear in the corner (News Corp) shortly charging for access to the UK Times (plus later The Sun) websites.

If newspapers want to survive long-term in the brave new world of the internet, then they will have to continually evolve and adapt their services to match the market, which includes producing more real content that people will be happy to pay for as opposed to just regurgitating press releases, government ‘sources’ and badly-misquoted hearsay.

Because if they don’t, someone else will certainly come along and steal their thunder – postponing the BBC’s UK arrival into the app marketplace is certainly an admission of defeat for parts of the UK newspaper industry in that they could see it coming but were unprepared for the event, at least judging from the public reaction.

Sacking journalists is sadly not the answer here, although a few regular bloggers are capable of producing better articles than the average newspaper hack, which could also be part of the problem the ‘professional’ newspaper industry now finds itself in.

And if I want to view the BBC News website on a smartphone, will I need permission from the BBC Trust to do so? Of course not, and some of this problem seems to suggest that the Trust doesn’t fully understand the technology that’s involved.

It still seems likely that the BBC apps will appear in some form later on this year, but you can blame political posturing and management paralysis for what will turn into an unnecessary delay, all things considered.