Futures Lab Update #54: How Mobile Is Changing News Gathering and Delivery

    by Reuben Stern
    April 9, 2014
    Many TV newsrooms have replaced satellite trucks with live backpack units like LiveU. Others are outfitting reporters with iPhones for photo and video coverage, or accepting consumer-generated content.

    Reported by Reuben Stern and Olga Kyle.

    Smartphones and tablets have now surpassed computers as the primary way many audiences are accessing online news. In this week’s report, participants from RJI’s recent Mobile First event share how their newsrooms are placing a priority on mobile and changing the way news is gathered and delivered.

    “We really try to focus on social media to get [consumers] back on our [web] platforms ... the landscape is changing, but it’s not one that we’re going to be able to affect change in all that quickly, until the pool of people that we have at all levels is more involved and more up-to-speed on the value of digital.” – Joe Rooney, corporate director of digital content, Raycom Media

    TO WATCH FULL SESSION VIDEOS from RJI’s Mobile First event, click here.


    PART 1: Mobile-first delivery

    Executives from Journal Broadcast Group, Cox Media and Raycom Media explain how they are using the mobile platform to make their news operations more social and engaging for audience members.
    Reporting by Tatiana Darie and Ninh Pham.
    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    About the companies:

    • Journal Broadcast Group owns and operates 15 television stations in 12 states. Its digital department oversees about 100 different mobile apps, sites and social media accounts. Michael Gay, vice president for interactive media, said the company has adopted an aggressive approach toward live streaming and all their stations currently offer the service.
    • Cox Media Group operates 14 broadcast television stations and one local cable channel, 57 radio stations, 8 daily newspapers, more than a dozen non-daily publications, and more than 100 digital services. Tim Wolff, director of digital at Cox Media, said that unlike many other news organizations around the country some of the group’s local stations do not share all of their content online or on mobile in order to protect their brands, which dominate their markets.
    • Raycom Media owns and provides services for 53 television stations in 37 markets and 18 states, covering 13.1 perccent of U.S. television households. Its digital department oversees digital content for the company’s more than 100 websites, mobile apps and social channels.

    PART 2: Mobile-first reporting

    Some newsrooms are using iPhones to capture video. Others are replacing live trucks with live backpack units. And many stations also are taking advantage of the mobile audience and increasing the use of user generated content. These and other mobile approaches are becoming a standard part of the newsgathering process.
    Reporting by Paige Hornor, Tatiana Darie and Ninh Pham.
    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    For more information:

    There are several companies making live mobile backpack units. They include:

    PART 3: Mobile-first content

    In addition to delivering the traditional forms of news stories — text, audio, photos and videos — mobile devices offer the opportunity for entirely new ways to inform an audience. They also provide an opportunity for news operations to redefine themselves.
    Reporting by Colin Hope.
    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    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: cox media iphone iPhone reporting journal broadcast group raycom media

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