Futures Lab Video #40: News Tailored for Mobile Platforms

    by Reuben Stern
    December 18, 2013
    Adriano Farano, founder of the Watchup news app for Google Glass, says that Glass is the next platform for news consumption.

    Reporting by Reuben Stern, Olga Kyle, Laura Davison, and Teddy Nykiel.

    This week the RJI Futures Lab brings you three examples of how news is being re-engineered for people on the go.

    "We're trying to think through what is a mobile lifestyle, and how does news fit into that?" -David Cohn, Circa


    PART 1: Circa

    The mobile app Circa has received a lot of attention for its effort to redefine the experience of keeping up with the news via smartphone. The operation is half-newsroom and half-tech startup powered by a content-management system that breaks stories down to individual components — facts, statistics, quotes, etc. The pieces can then be reassembled in various ways. We go inside Circa’s San Francisco headquarters to talk with Director of News David Cohn and see how the 12-person news team stays on top of as many as 150 stories at a time.

    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    Additional information:


    In this extended Futures Lab interview, Cohn, also a 2010-11 Reynolds Fellow, describes how successful media companies in the future will need to develop their content and technology platforms simultaneously.

    Cohn also discusses recent improvements to the Circa app, including a version for Android, in a text Q&A with PBS MediaShift.

    PART 2: Rivet News Radio

    An app called Rivet News Radio is one of the latest efforts to transition radio news into the mobile device era. The app provides customizable audio news, including traffic reports based on a user’s location and stories selected to match the listener’s individual interests. We visited the team at HearHere Radio, the Chicago-based startup behind the app, to learn more about the operation.

    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    Additional information:

    Rivet News Radio’s content includes original reporting from more than 20 journalists working for HearHere Radio, which is also partnering with other news organizations for additional content.

    So far the app is available only for iPhone and the content covers only the Chicago area, but plans include Android and automotive versions of the app along with expansion to other cities over the coming year.

    PART 3: Watchup for Google Glass

    Through apps like Watchup, personalized video newscasts are moving beyond smartphones and onto wearable technology like Google Glass. Watchup founder and CEO Adriano Farano explains the experience of hands-free mobile video now and in the future.

    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    Additional information:

    Watchup for Glass is currently in private beta. Visit their website to request an invite.

    Farano discusses the thinking behind Watchup in a previous Futures Lab report.

    Reuben Stern is the deputy director of the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and host and co-producer of the weekly Futures Lab video update.


    The Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Futures Lab video update features a roundup of fresh ideas, techniques and developments to help spark innovation and change in newsrooms across all media platforms. Visit the RJI website for the full archive of Futures Lab videos, or download the iPad app to watch the show wherever you go. You can also sign up to receive email notification of each new episode.

    Tagged: google glass mobile apps mobile news radio

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