January 26, 2016 Last Updated 8:46 am

While much of the national media obsesses with polls, the Quad City Times today leads with important local issue – ethanol

Morning Brief: The recently released digital newspaper app, The Times of London Weekly, receives its first update, but struggles to deal with App Store discovery challenges

The primary election season is very near, less than a week until the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary two weeks from today. While the national media spotlight, as always, is firmly on the polls, local media may have far more of an influence on the voters than what Sean Hannity or Rachel Maddow has to say. Because of this, TNM is starting an occasional series today that looks at what the local media is saying in the battleground states.

Quad City Times newspaperYesterday, the three Democratic candidates held a town hall meeting, the last gathering of all three candidates in one place before the caucuses on Monday. The Gannett-owned Des Moines Register today chose to feature the town hall on its front page.

But the Quad City Times stuck to a local issue: ethanol. Sen Ted Cruz has come out against energy subsidies, a position quite in line with his free market philosophy. But while you might think Iowa conservatives would be in favor of such a position, ending subsidies would hit Iowa farmers in their pocketbooks, especially corn growers who have long made support for ethanol as a fuel additive a nonnegotiable stance for any local politician, and any national candidate hoping to win over Iowa voters.

Cruz’s position on ethanol may explain why he has fallen in recent polls. Donald Trump, on the other hand, has voiced his support for ethanol, though he has said it in such a way as to give the impression that he would just easily say the opposite if voters wanted him to.

The New Yorker - Donald Trump - magazinesThe New Yorker, which continues to have the most distinctive covers in the business, hit a home run with their latest edition which features five past presidents watching Donald Trump scream on television.

The cover was created by Barry Blitt and is called “Bad Reception.”

The issue includes a feature by Washington correspondent Ryan Lizza that looks at both the Trump and Cruz campaigns.

“A small segment of Trump’s audience has little interest in politics, or even in voting for him,” Lizza writes. “They come to see a free live show by a famous political performance artist. At each of the four Trump rallies I attended this winter—in Arizona, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Mississippi—some people left after taking a few pictures with their phones, and the departures steadily increased as Trump rambled on about his lead in the polls and about various losers in media and politics.”

Later in the article Lizza says what others are seeing, that the Republican Party no longer seems in control of its supporters, leading to this year’s unpredictable race.

“The Trump and Cruz campaigns are approaching the G.O.P. primary, especially in Iowa, from sharply different angles, but both candidates are benefitting from a dramatic development: the Republican Party is no longer able to control its nominating contest.”

Newspaper app updates:

The Times of London Weekly newspaperThe Times (UK) has issued its first update for its new weekly digital-only edition, The Times of London Weekly to fix some bugs. (See original TNM post on the app here.) The new digital edition is aimed at an international audience, but if the complete lack of reviews for the app inside the US App Store is any indication, it is not being discovered by readers.

App discovery is a well known problem inside the Apple App Store. But Apple has intentionally – and I would say maliciously – made it far worse. For instance, inside the News category, which the new weekly newspaper app is using, is the usual “New” section where Apple promotes apps. Are any of the apps Apple’s App Store team chooses to promote actually new? No, in fact most were released at least a year ago or more. CNet’s app, for instance, goes back to 2012, who why would Apple call it “new”?

Tribune Publishing has issued updates for its newspaper apps for “stability improvements.” The most popular of the newspaper apps is for the Los Angeles Times and recent reader reviews point to so bugs. Additional newspaper owned by Tribune, and therefore updated recently, include the Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun.

The Washington Post has updated both its newish mobile app, simply called The Washington Post, and its ‘Classic’ app for the iPad.

The update for the new app, which was originally launched for the Kindle Fire before being launched for iOS and Android, is for stability improvements and bug fixes.

The update for The Washington Post Classic for iPad adds a new National section, likely as the place to gather up all the stories each day about the election campaigns.

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