Wall Street Journal, NPR to Open iPad-only Web Sites

At least two major news media outlets aren’t going to let the iPad’s lack of Flash support keep owners of Apple’s latest creation away from their content. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and National Public Radio (NPR) are working on iPad-specific versions of their web sites, set to launch next month alongside the official ship date of the iPad.

The websites will launch automatically whenever someone navigates to either NPR.org or WSJ.com, and will replace the standard sites, both of which feature pretty significant quantities of Flash content. Peter Kafka at MediaMemo also notes that this workaround ensures that iPad owners will be able to access content from the two news sources without the organizations having to rush out a dedicated iPad application.

According to Kafka, NPR is in the process of developing such an application, but it won’t necessarily be ready in time for the iPad’s launch. Also, having two options available for iPad owners means that no matter what a customer’s preference, they should be able to access all of NPR’s content. Just after the device hits the streets, consumer frenzy will probably be at its most heady, so anyone ready to go on day one stands to benefit the most by way of picking up new readers and/or customers.

The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. is doing something along the same lines, although it will be more sound and fury than substance. While NPR’s site is getting a complete overhaul, the WSJ will have a Flash-free front page, but if you start delving deeper into content, you’ll run into those annoying little mystery Lego icons. The WSJ and other sites using this tactic will likely wait and see how popular the iPad actually becomes before devoting many resources to a full-scale conversion.

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