Belfast Telegraph leads the way with iPad journalist
Northern Ireland's first iPad journalist has been appointed by the Belfast Telegraph to create the newspaper's new Apple tablet edition.
Thomas Hawkins (28), will be responsible for creating and updating the iPad edition of the Belfast Telegraph every day.
The move follows 8% online growth in readership of the Belfast Telegraph year on year and is part of the Telegraph's journey to become a multi-platform publisher in print, online and mobile.
The digital edition will contain all the content of the print newspaper in a tailor-made format to suit the iPad screen and will be available every morning from 5am.
Sam McIlveen, Belfast Telegraph's head of digital, said Mr Hawkins' appointment was an "historic" development.
"The Belfast Telegraph is 141-years-old and in all those years it has never shied away from change or innovation," Mr McIlveen said.
"The newspaper has changed and evolved with the times and we are maintaining that culture by launching the new iPad edition."
The Belfast Telegraph said more than 1m readers now view the newspaper through the print and online versions every month.
Mr Hawkins said there is a big difference between the online version and the iPad edition of the newspaper.
"The iPad edition will be as user friendly and accessible as the print version because people with iPhones and iPads will be able to open it up at any time," Mr Hawkins said.
"The online version can also be accessed on these but the content is more slow-moving and more time-consuming to find.
"This version opens up a whole new era for the Belfast Telegraph, one in which photographs, graphics and text are enhanced by the clarity provided by Apple technology and one which secures the newspaper's future as reading habits continue to change in the 21st century."
Mr Hawkins said the iPad edition will be continually updated to provide the blend of local and international news preferred by Northern Ireland readers.
"The access to Northern Ireland people who are out of the country in the long or short term will also play a vital role in determining the content and design of the iPad version," he said.
"This will be particularly attractive to recruiters, inward investment advisers and businesses as well as emigrants and people who want to keep in touch with the news back home."
The Belfast Telegraph has joined with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) to launch the iPad version.
Ruth Burns, NITB destination marketing and PR manager, said: "We are delighted to be the launch partner for The Belfast Telegraph's move into mobile publishing.
"This initiative provides a great opportunity to communicate on an innovative new media platform what a fantastic place Northern Ireland is to visit."
The daily edition of the Belfast Telegraph is available to iPad users for £3.99 per month and to iPhone users for £1.79 per month.
The edition will be launched by the end of this month.
Users can register at www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/app
Readers who register before the launch will be offered 30 days free access.