The Move to Mobile

It’s no secret that print journalism is going out of style, while online news is on the rise. In fact, most schools are emphasizing their students know how to write and publish online. However, now there’s an even newer form of publication that editors of well-known newspapers are having to learn to plan and design for. And that change is publishing stories for a mobile device.

I recently read an article on Poynter.org by Benjamin Mullin that lists tips from editors of well-known news sites on how they are reaching out to their mobile readers.

One tip that I found interesting was that to gain readers, you need to know what time your audience is reading the news. An example the article gave is that The New York Times’ audience would be reading most of their news at 6 a.m. before they go to work, while BuzzFeed gets most of its traffic in the evenings. Knowing this, the sites save their top news content until these times, so that their readers are getting the newest information when they want it. It’s strange to see how things change with technology. Now, not only do journalists need to know the demographics of their readers, they also need to be aware of the times their readers are checking their phones.

Another important tip from the blog is that many news sites are designing and assigning stories especially for their mobile sites. For example, the editors of the New York Times now discuss what will go on the mobile site during the same meeting that they discuss their cover stories. Also, BuzzFeed now has a mobile device preview for every story, so they can see what it will look like on a phone before it is published.

While I was prepared to write for online publications, it is interesting to see how stories change even more for mobile devices. If you’d like to read about all of the tips Mullin suggests, you can find his blog here.

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