China Radio International launches tablet magazines into the Apple Newsstand
Since Apple does not separate publications inside the Newsstand by language, one sees all the “foreign” newspapers and magazines that are released each week. In fact, since the rest of the world is catching up to publishing for tablets, there are at least as many non-English publications appear now as there are English ones.
One publisher that is releasing rather unique digital magazines is China Radio International, or CRI. CRI is the state-owned international broadcaster. Originally founded as Radio Peking in 1941, it today it is basically the equivalent of Voice of American, representing the Chinese government’s official position on issues.
The new digital magazines are unusual, though, in that they are not in Chinese. Tradicionalna kineska medicine, for instance, is about traditional Chinese medicine… and is in Boznian. Дыхание Китая, or Breath of China, is in Russian. Bursztyn, or The Amber, is in Polish and Chinese, and is the passenger magazine for flights between Beijing and Warsaw on LOT airlines, the Polish carrier.
Each of the apps and their issues inside are free of charge to access, and each digital magazine is native in design. The layouts and their interactive components are a bit rough. One can tell instantly that a Western art director was not behind the editions as there is very little use of white space.
Because Apple still has not created a translation service for iPad owners to more easily enjoy foreign language publications, one has to view these digital magazines for their design ideas – and while they may provide a limited number of lessons in that regard, it is fascinating to see the ever growing reach of the Chinese in international publishing.