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The Onion announces launch of free iPhone app

The Onion launches free iPhone app sponsored by Jack Link's Beef Jerky.
The Onion launches free iPhone app sponsored by Jack Link's Beef Jerky.(PRNewsFoto/Jack Link's)

The Onion, which bills itself as “the last bastion of reliable, unbiased, and definitive news reporting in a world dominated by superficial, mediocre, non-Onion-related media outlets," launched its official downloadable app, available to iPhone, iPod Touch, and the new iPad users. The free application is sponsored by Jack Link’s Beef Jerky.

The Onion is a satirical news publication which originated in Madison, WI, but now published out of New York. The weekly newspaper, published in both print format and online, is widely known for its faux headlines, providing commentary on national, international, and local current events. During the past 21 years, according to the publication, The Onion's satirical media empire has expanded from “a humble local weekly to a national print readership and online audience of 7 million a month.”

The new Onion app, which is free to download from the iTunes App Store, presents The Onion’s famous news, analysis, and attention-grabbing headlines that Onion fans love.

"Readers, listeners and viewers who rely on The Onion to present the news in the way that only The Onion can, have pleaded for an official app. Some have even gone as far as creating their own unauthorized Onion-related apps," said Onion Web Editor Baratunde Thurston in an April 2 news release. "No longer will Onion fans have to settle for information cobbled together by lesser, non-Onion news sources. They should feel free to delete all such apps immediately."

The Onion app showcases the publication's news and regular features including Onion Radio News, Onion News Network video, sports, opinion editorials, statshots, infographics and more. In addition, app subscribers may search and view The Onion's online content archives and save items for offline viewing. Paid upgrades featuring enhanced functionality will be made available throughout 2010.

"It should come as no surprise that Jack Link's, a brand that encourages fans to Feed Their Wild Side, would partner with another slightly irreverent and fun-loving institution like The Onion," said Jeff LeFever, director of marketing, Jack Link's Beef Jerky. "The untamed spirit that embodies the Jack Link's brand makes it a perfect match with The Onion. Watch for more exciting projects from The Onion, presented by Jack Link's, in the coming months."

In addition to this iPhone/iPad app, The Onion will launch several new projects this year that are also sponsored by Jack Link's, including a dedicated Onion News Network video app as well as an "Eye On America" iTunes video playlist.

The Onion was founded in 1988 by then University of Wisconsin-Madison students Tim Keck and Christopher Johnson. The publication was later purchased by Scott Dikkers and Peter Haise.  After the publication relocated to New York in 2001, a promis was made that regional print versions would always be available free to Madison fans. The weekly publication can be found at the Madison Public LIbrary and its branches. 

The Onion received a Peabody in 2009.  The company has also published several books, including Our Dumb World [2008], Our Dumb Century[1999] and Our Front Pages [2009], which "commemorates the death of print."

Headquartered in Minong, Wis., The Onion's app sponsor Jack Link's is the No. 1 U.S. meat snack brand and fastest growing meat snack manufacturer worldwide, according to company reps. Jack Link's is known for its popular Messin' with Sasquatch advertising campaign which has achieved nearly cult-like status. The commercials feature pranksters playing sophomoric pranks on an unsuspecting Sasquatch.

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