When people are waiting in line, they turn to their phones, where they check Facebook, read Twitter and view Instagram photos. The big question for news publishers is why they don’t check out the news.
The reason might be the wrapper the news is delivered in. Publishers are still stuck, in 2013, getting the basics down: translating news stories from print to desktop to mobile. But attention spans are different when waiting in line. News, it seems, not only has to rethink its business models, it must also rethink what it delivers.
That’s why the experiments by mobile apps Circa and NowThisNews are so interesting. Both companies are focused on packaging content in smart, mobile-centric ways. Circa’s 13 editors scour the Web for content and break it down to those most basic elements of news — the who, what, when, where and why. That content makes it easy to read while waiting for the bus, as you can scroll through a story and take away what really matters. Circa also sends out push notifications to alert you of story updates. Think of it as an ongoing stream of news, which makes sense for the computer in your pocket. For example, this story on Russia’s proposed anti-gay legislation can only be shared via social networks through your phone or tablet.
You might want to hold off writing the obituary for the print media…as this year begins, Poynter highlights three notable reports share the same conclusion about the future of news: The path we are on is uncertain and debatable. But two of the three studies now see an extended economic shelf life for print, even as audiences swing digital and the search for viable digital news products continues.
It’s a great post jam=packed with interesting research you can use in the classroom to contextualize the print/digital chaos…
The always thoughtful Dan Gillmor weighs in, underscoring just how much work digital journalism has to do when it comes to transparency and independence…
Every day, it seems, we see traditional boundaries – which were always less rigid or tall than journalists pretended – being breached by the old guard, who’ve been panicked by the revenue implosion of the past decade. Many of the new players, especially in the social part of the media ecosystem, have jettisoned the traditional tactics almost entirely.
Read it here.
CUNY professor and long-time Nieman Lab contributor C.W. Anderson is out with a new book, Rebuilding the News: Metropolitan Journalism in the Digital Age. This is a book well worth a look — it might very well augment some of the material in Chs. 3 and 5 of Principles of American Journalism.
The subject of his book is, fundamentally, why news organizations responded so poorly to the disruptions of the Internet — or, as he puts it, a “study of the legacy systems that made the news organizations I studied behave in deeply irrational ways.”
Niemanlab.org has an excerpt here.