Futures Lab Update #53: Touchable Video, Sensor Journalism and the Mobile Transition

    by Reuben Stern
    April 2, 2014
    Publishers like the New York Times, Washington Post and the Austin American-Statesman are working to elevate their mobile news products to the same level as dot-com products with new apps and personalization.

    Reported by Reuben Stern and Olga Kyle.

    This week we see how Cinematique adds touch-screen interaction to video, how sensors are being employed to create new kinds of journalism and how some news organizations are shifting their thinking toward mobile audiences.

    "It’s always bothered me that if we had a story idea and the government doesn’t keep track of [the relevant information], then we’re hosed. The hardware is there. What stories come from sensing the physical world? … Will [sensor journalism] ever be as commonplace as journalists using smartphones or data journalism? No, it’s always going to be a niche thing that we’ll bust out when the story really calls for it." –Matt Waite, professor of journalism, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


    PART 1: Cinematique

    A platform called Cinematique is making it possible for viewers of mobile video to get information about things they see by touching the screen as a video plays. We learn how it works from co-founders Kyle Heller and Randy Ross.
    Reporting by Olga Kyle and Reuben Stern.

    Our Futures Lab example:

    Futures Lab video editor Olga Kyle took the Cinematique platform for a test drive with this behind-the-scenes clip. Tap or click throughout the video to learn more about where our show comes from:


    PART 2: Sensor journalism

    An emerging frontier in data journalism involves inexpensive sensors that can enable new kinds of storytelling by gathering information not tracked by anyone else. With a little help from the audience things can get even more interesting. We hear about the possibilities from John Keefe of WNYC and Matt Waite of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
    Reporting by Ninh Pham and Reuben Stern.

    Sensor journalism examples:

    For more information:

    WNYC’s data news team regularly posts updates and tips related to its work.

    PART 3: Transitioning to mobile

    As mobile devices increasingly become the technology of choice for consuming information, news organizations are once again having to adapt their focus to include another new medium with its own unique opportunities and constraints. We check in with a few newspaper organizations to see how they are making the transition.
    Reporting by Tatiana Darie, Reuben Stern and Olga Kyle.

    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: cinematique mobile apps mobile journalism sensor journalism touchable video

    Comments are closed.

  • Who We Are

    MediaShift is the premier destination for insight and analysis at the intersection of media and technology. The MediaShift network includes MediaShift, EducationShift, MetricShift and Idea Lab, as well as workshops and weekend hackathons, email newsletters, a weekly podcast and a series of DigitalEd online trainings.

    About MediaShift »
    Contact us »
    Sponsor MediaShift »
    MediaShift Newsletters »

    Follow us on Social Media