News editors, mobile industry execs and academics gathered at the Reynolds Journalism Institute in April to brainstorm the challenges news companies face as smart phone usage sets new records for growth. By 2013 more people will access the web by mobile device than by PC.
The goal: To have 75% of Americans use some bit of newspaper-generated mobile in some way each day. (Newspapers once exceeded this benchmark in print.)
See 3 minute video clips from “Going Mobile: How Journalists Can Meet the Cell Phone Challenge."
Five factors will determine whether newsrooms meet the cell phone challenge
To meet the cell phone challenge will require that newsrooms excel at five factors:
- Technology — either everyone must have a smartphone or we need to figure out how to deliver our best on simple text/voice feature phones.
- Essential content — People should feel that they just can’t get through the day without the mobile content we provide. That content must be:
- Location Based
- Public input — Cell phones are communications
devices designed to let their users talk. Those users need to talk,
text, email or brainwave to us. More to the point, we need to listen to
- Transaction — News is a business and must pay its
way. Mobile from newspapers should provide transactions for
advertisers, for readers and for anyone else. In this case, money
- Willpower – Dreaming is not enough. If we don’t commit to hitting the goal, no list in the world will get us there.