Washington Post launches iPad politics magazine to cover 2012 election

Republican candidates continue to debate and blast each other as primaries wage all over the country in the run up to the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election. And that’s only half the story of what’s going on as the candidates try to convince the public of who should get their vote come November.

To cover all that political craziness, The Washington Post is launching a new publication specifically designed for Apple’s iPad. Called Post Politics, it’s specifically geared toward the election, although the monthly magazine covers all the major political rumblings happening in the country.

The real benefit of Post Politics is the amount of interactive information the magazine intends to deliver to users, making it useful to both the casually interested and the politically supercharged among its readers. Presidential elections inevitably include a lot of spin, stretched information and cited facts without their sources; Post Politics articles will include information in its interactive portions that show the reality behind the candidates’ rhetoric, to help readers make informed decisions and get all sides of every story. It even employs motion graphics that show how candidates’ views on certain issues have changed over time. That’s the kind of story-expanding election coverage that The Washington Post can’t put into a print publication, and makes the iPad such an interesting device for making magazines.

The app also will include a lot of quick hit information, like polling results in various states, election results for every presidential contest since 1789, heat maps and Washington Post blogs. There’s even an archive that shows includes Washington Post election coverage stretching back more than 100 years.

Like other iPad magazines, Post Politics takes a monthly subscription from its users. The app is free to download and so is some of the content, but the subscription fee for premium content will cost readers $2.99 per month.

Since it rolled out its subscription rules last year, Apple’s iOS devices have gained quite a few publications specifically tailored to their hardware. Lots of publications have reported some pretty strong results, too. Publisher Condé Naste reported in October it had increased its subscriptions by 268 percent with the help of Apple’s Newsstand system. Other publications have reported similar success on the iPad.

The cool thing about The Washington Post’s new app is that it suggests some really useful possibilities for publications looking for powerful ways to cover the upcoming election. With apps like Post Politics that shed additional light on candidates and make getting information about them easier, it’s possible a lot more voters will find themselves better informed come November. Here’s hoping more publications find ways of leveraging technology to better inform the public.

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