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Globe introduces new ePaper edition

By Casey Ross
Globe Staff / March 27, 2012
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The Boston Globe on Tuesday is introducing a new digital edition that will allow subscribers to read the newspaper electronically exactly as they would the print version, but on a laptop, tablet or mobile phone.

The Globe’s new ePaper will be formatted the same as the print version, with the sections, articles and photographs laid out just as in the paper, meaning readers will be able to browse through it in the same familiar fashion but using digital scroll features. It is free for all online and print subscribers and can be accessed on BostonGlobe.com; It is also available on iTunes as a standalone iPad and iPhone app.

The ePaper is part of the Globe’s effort to cater to a growing online audience by combining the sensation of reading the print newspaper with the convenience of mobile communication. The ePaper replaces the Globe’s first replica edition and adds several new features, including the capability to read the full newspaper offline.

“Part of the strategy is to introduce additional digital products that allow our readers to connect with our journalism in a variety of ways,” said Christopher M. Mayer, publisher of the Globe. “We’re constantly looking at ways to increase the value of a Boston Globe subscription.”

Mayer said the ePaper is meant to complement the Globe’s existing digital products, including its subscription web site, BostonGlobe.com, the GlobeReader, and Boston.com. Subscribers to the previous e-version of the paper, the Libre Replica edition, will have full access to BostonGlobe.com and the Boston Globe ePaper.

Media companies around the world have begun using replica digital editions as a way to reach readers who want the full scope and context of the daily newspaper, but in an electronic format they can access anywhere. The offline reading capability of the Globe’s ePaper makes it accessible to subscribers who want to read it during a flight or in locations where they do not have Internet connectivity.

The ePaper is powered by technology from NewspaperDirect, whose products are also used to produce replica editions of The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune and dozens of other newspapers in the United States and abroad. The company’s PressReader product is widely used to download newspapers to cell phones and tablets.

“This technology helps newspapers reach the consumer where the consumer is going,” said Thomas Fiedler, dean of the Boston University’s College of Communications. “We’re in an era where people want to have access to the news when it’s convenient for them.”

The ePaper will feature digital page-turning and bookmarking tools, a navigation bar to scroll through sections, and a text-to-speech feature that allows subscribers to have articles, or the entire paper, read aloud to them.

Subscribers can also receive the ePaper early in the morning just as they would the physical newspaper. Readers can have it delivered directly to their phones and other devices at 5 a.m.

For non-subscribers, single copy purchase of the app is available on iTunes for 99 cents per issue or $14.99 a month. The Globe plans to introduce apps compatible for Android phones later this year.

Casey Ross can be reached at cross@globe.com.

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