11.24.2013

The New Wave of Mobile Journalism

In the early 1990s, the Internet threatened the newspaper when it took over journalism and reporting.  This Poytner article explores how the sensation of smart phones and tablets will effect the news industry as all organizations scramble to have a big presence in the mobile world.

This article brings up the debate of whether news organizations need to take the approach where they simply extend what they are already doing to their mobile site or if they need to completely focus on having a mobile presence in order to take advantage of the changes in technology.  Regardless of what choice the organization makes, mobile journalism is bringing about radical changes.

Many valid points are raised in this article on why newsrooms need to become "mobile first."  Personally, I am always checking my phone for news updates.  I always have my iPhone and don't always have my computer or a TV near me.  Tablets and iPads are so popular that it is not uncommon for a person to carry one around with them.  Apps on all of these devices make it so easy to receive news updates and in my opinion, news organizations should be focusing on how they can make the biggest imprint in the mobile world.

I agree in this article that in the coming future, mobile journalism is going to surpass the web.  It is accessed much easier and in crazy day to day life, not all people have time to sit down and read a newspaper or watch the news.  They want to be able to find out what is going on in the world right at their fingertips.

I am not sure what effect this will have on the news industry.  I think by focusing on the mobile world there will be a lot of success for many organizations.  But, what do you think?  What effect will this have on the world of journalism?

3 comments:

Rachel Barron said...

I agree that news organizations will start to place increasing amounts of emphasis on delivering news and information to mobile apps. Like you said, most people always have their phones on them, but not necessarily a computer with Internet access; thus, an effective app is of utmost importance. I think news organizations will continue to utilize their websites, but maybe their use of them will go back to how their use started off in the beginning: putting exactly the same information online as is in the paper. Instead of putting all of the fun, additional, flashy information on their websites, perhaps news organizations will reserve these kinds of things for their apps, since those will probably be used more often.

Fatimah Waseem said...

As our news consumption habits and our culture of technology evolves, it's no surprise we'll gravitate toward smaller, more accessible screens. News goes where the people are and if they're going mobile, news will follow suit.

This means mobile news will feature shorter articles with more emphasis on visuals, interactives, and eye-tracking for mobile devices. It would be interesting to see how eye-tracking differs from traditional sites to mobile versions.

In terms of newsroom economics, I think there's a lot of potential. The combination of geolocation and digital payments could create a new local advertising niche, tailoring content to individual needs and interests. Whether this trend will result in a filter bubble where readers interact with what a sequence of code has generated them based on a recommendation algorithm is an entirely different question.

Natalie Tomlin said...

News organizations must focus more on their mobile presence if they want to keep up with the evolution of our culture and technology. I definitely think there are still organizations who think in the "mobile too" mindset rather than the "mobile first." However, mobile technology is by no means replacing desktop consumption of news. Personally, I consume different news on my phone than I do on my laptop. No matter how easy and convenient it is to check my news and social media apps on my phone, I will always use my laptop to sit down and read longer news articles and consume my news more slowly. Just like print hasn't completely died off, neither will consuming news online on a desktop. Just like there are still loyal magazine and newspaper subscribers and even single-sales at newsstands, there will also remain a dedication to accessing the web on devices other than your smartphone. News organizations must understand that these different means of accessing information are all important and must all be utilized for the modern news consumer. Mobile may become the dominant screen, but I don't think mobile will completely "erode" the desktop.

I also like the point that the author of the Poynter article made about too much focus on social media. Even in my journalism classes, we are constantly discussing social media's impact on the delivery and consumption of news. Although this is important, I think news organizations should definitely focus more on creating their own successful apps instead of focusing too much on delivering their news indirectly to consumers via social media platforms.