November 9, 2015 Last Updated 12:18 pm

University of Missouri story tests newspaper comment policies; NYT delivers Google Cardboard to Sunday subscribers

Morning Brief: Apple will begin taking orders for the new 12.9″ iPad Pro on Wednesday, with deliveries later this week; the iPad Pro will also be in retail stores by Friday, as well

There were major stories around the globe this weekend such as the vote in Myanmar, and the news that CO2 reached record levels for the 30th year in a row. But the news story that grew seems to be drawing the most attention involves race relations at the University of Missouri.

missouri-250Faculty today may begin a two-day walkout today in support of student activists who claim the university had done little to stem racial intolerance on campus. On Sunday the school’s football team did not hold practice and there were threats that the team could refuse to play it last three games of the season unless the until university’s president, Tim Wolfe, is removed from office.

The story for papers across the nation could be simply one of observing events and reporting on what, if any, actions the university takes. But in the age of web publishing, newspapers reporting on the story become at the center of the issue. The Washington Post, for instance, which has a light moderating policy, already has over 700 comments on its story on the school, most of which could be considered bordering on racist.

“So dump the black crybabies and let the white players start. The people will love it and the blacks will realize they quit the only thing in this world they’re any good at,” one WaPo reader wrote.

(I am not a fan of WaPo comment policy.)

Update: University of Missouri System President Timothy Wolfe resigned on Monday at an emergency Board of Curators meeting.

NYT-VR-Cardboard2The New York Times delivered Google Cardboard kits to Sunday print subscribers this weekend in a promotion sure to generate huge downloads of its new NYT VR mobile app (see story on app here).

While some went on Twitter to complain that their Sunday paper was missing the Google Cardboard, many obviously received their device and downloaded the app. Reviews inside iTunes are generally positive. The biggest complaint seems to be that Google Cardboard is not designed for the larger iPhone models.

Sadly, few media outlets bothered doing much investigating the app and its origins. The company the NYT is working with, IM360, has worked with other media outlets such as Gannett on apps. Those apps looked to have landed without much notice due to a lack of promotion, as well as good integration with editorial.

The NYT’s debut for NYT VR, on the other hand, was tied to a series of stories that appeared in The New York Times Magazine called The Displaced. While some were less than impressed with the virtual reality app or Google Cardboard, reaction to the journalism was overwhelmingly positive.


Apple said this morning that it would begin taking orders for its new iPad Pro this Wednesday, with deliveries to begin later this week. The new iPad will also be available in its retail stores by Friday, as well.

“The early response to iPad Pro from app developers and our customers has been incredible, and we’re excited to get iPad Pro into the hands of customers around the world this week,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

It will be interesting to see sales figures for the new 12.9 inch tablet. The base model only comes with 32 GB and is priced at $799. Two other models are available: one with WiFi-only and 128 GB of storage is priced at $949, while the only models with cellular connectivity comes with 128 GB and costs $1079.

My guess would be that design professionals would opt for 128 GB of storage and likely buy the $949 model as WiFi is so prevalent, and an iPhone owner could, in a pinch, use their device to deliver connectivity to their iPad.

Few expect the new, larger model to reverse the sales trends for the iPad. iPad sales have fallen short when compared to the same quarter the year before in seven straight quarters.

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