Futures Lab update

Futures Lab update #40: News tailored for mobile platforms

This week we bring you three examples of how news is being reengineered for people on the go.

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 start-up 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.

Reporting by Reuben Stern, Olga Kyle and Laura Davison.

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

Additional information:

In this extended Futures Lab interview, David Cohn, director of news at Circa and 2010-11 Reynolds Fellow, describes how successful media companies in the future will need to develop their content and technology platforms simultaneously.https://www.youtube.com/embed/Lbwl5J6rTl8?rel=0

Cohn also discusses recent improvements to the Circa app, including a version for Android, in this 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 start-up behind the app, to learn more about the operation.

Reporting by Teddy Nykiel.

[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.

Reporting by Reuben Stern, Olga Kyle and Teddy Nykiel.

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

For more information:

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

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


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