Mobile Journalism: class blog


readings, links + reactions for 9-23-09

Readings for this week will fall across three themes for our new project: Public radio’s place in the world today, how mobile devices are transforming the idea of “local,” and the design process.

How One iPhone App Could Save Public Radio
Public Radio Dangerously Close To Making Public Radio Obsolete
Why National Public Radio’s Mobile Web Approach Works

Mobilizing For Mobile: Are News Organizations Lagging
Your Digital Content is Worth Zero to Consumers
Mobile Internet Use Shrinks Digital Divide

Experience the World Instead of Talking About Experiencing the World
See and Hear With the Mind of a Child
Plus–and this branches between Design Thinking & Journalism–a note from the creator of the Pulitzer-Winning Politifact about the design process: Demos, Not Memos



Filed under: readings

5 Responses

  1. danielzarick says:

    Diego Rodriquez’s pieces about design were great, as well as Matt Waite’s about launching early. I’m a huge fan of incredibly short periods of planning, and then jumping right into building. Everybody involved with the project will be able to understand it better once it gets off paper and into a form that you can visualize. Many things work beautifully in theory, but fall apart once they are put into practice. Then on top of that, some things are great in practice, but seem horrible and unexplainable on paper. You’ll never know what you have until you make it.

    The Public Radio Player sounds awesome, but I have yet to try it out. I don’t have too many thoughts on all of those articles at the moment. It is fantastic that they are building a more convenient way to listen to public radio, especially from multiple stations across the country. There is almost zero negative repercussion that I can think of, but I am not sure of the monetary effects that this may have on lesser-known stations.

    Like we have discussed in class and read online, mobile is big. Not “will be”, but “is”. So if you are creating, or have created, any sort of online destination for anything and have yet to implement a mobile-optimized site then you are hurting yourself. One of the articles mentioned how many people are forgoing paying for broadband internet into their home, but are instead using the web on the mobile device. So there is a whole audience of people who will only access your account via mobile, and they can’t be ignored. It goes without saying then that any semi-respectable news outlet without a mobile site is digging its own grave. Now for monetizing that content… I think most of us are at a loss. If you read this great essay on content publishing, you may also see that we often don’t see ourselves as paying for the content or information. If the content is better or worse, we still pay in relation to the materials used to deliver that information to us. This means that when you go onto the internet, the means by which you get that information is as easy as making a free copy of the original, and with zero waste. Until we see value in something that we own and can take away without having to connect to an unreliable internet connect, that information will not be very valuable to us.

  2. Tim Young says:

    I like the idea of the Public Radio Player app. With all of the competition on the radio when people are in their cars, public radio has a lot to deal with. By creating an app for it, you’re allowing people to listen to public radio when they have a chance with less competition.

  3. I enjoyed the piece titled “Your digital content is worth zero to consumers” because at the essence of the whole story is how people feel entitled to their news. He does make a good point with how consumers will spend their money if it is something that they can keep, whether it is tangible like a newspaper or non tangible like an iPhone app.

    I agree with the writer of the piece, publishers need to create a proper iPhone app/ Blackberry app that gives readers a better experience than just simply going to their mobile site. An example I would like to use is the new Sports Illustrated application for the Blackberry (since I am not an iphone user). It loads quick and is easy to navigate and read unlike the mobile site where I constantly have to zoom in to read stories. Their model is one news publishers should look at and try to use for their own business.

  4. Alexander Zavala says:

    The Public Radio articles were interesting but I still think the app has been around for too short a time for any visible impact on public radio fundraising to be noticeable. I fear that over time, specific stations will gain listeners and other will lose them, forcing stations to close.

    The article called “Mobile Internet Use Shrinks Digital Divide” was very interesting to me. First of all, a mobile marketplace is developing that is similar to Japan in that users spend more time online with cell phones than computers and users emphasis hardware capabilities. If there was any demographic that will create innovation in American cell phone use, it is this one.

    From an educational viewpoint, creating a culture that is fascinated with technology will lead to a surge of interest in technological innovation from minority Americans. This is an area of education that minorities are behind in.

    From a news standpoint, this demographic is already underrepresented in the news market and are using a technology that has room for vast future improvement. An entrepreneur can easily fill both gaps with a mobile app for this area.

    This article has me excited because things are changing technologically and culture will change with it.

  5. Annie Pilon says:

    I thought all the articles about the public radio app were very interesting. I had never heard that such an app existed before, but it really got me thinking about how something like this would change the entire public radio landscape. However, I really think it’s moving in the right direction. If the major players in the public radio scene were not developing some kind of an app or at least a way for people to get their content on the go, I think that’s what would make public radio obsolete. Perhaps listening to radio on the actual radio is moving in that direction too, and I see where fundraising can be a problem, but for now I think it’s moving in the right direction. People are always on the go and looking for ways to get content on their phones. If you can’t give it to them, someone else will. At least this way people are still listening to public radio and people still care about it, instead of just forgetting about it altogether.

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