The Best News Apps of 2017


This post is by Phil Corso from MediaShift


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It’s highly unlikely – practically impossible – that a single day went by in 2017 without someone, somewhere uttering the words, “fake news.” And that constant barrage of media skepticism made creating and sharing news even more challenging for journalists and news curators alike in what was already an ever-evolving, hostile landscape. We combed through a vast array of news apps to cut through the noise and let you know which ones bring the real news in the best ways.

Best app for trend followers: BuzzFeed News

It’s not just for cat gifs and “10 ways to tell he likes you” lists anymore. The BuzzFeed News app takes all the content the site has to offer and consolidates it into one easy-to-navigate and customizable destination. It also features a trending tab, where users can see what’s hot right now and follow
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10 Things You Can Do Now to Up Your Social Media Game in 2018


This post is by Jane Elizabeth from MediaShift


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Are you in a newsroom right now? Take a look at your social media team. What are they doing? Most likely, they’re posting stories from your staff on Twitter and Facebook. They’re checking Google Analytics or Parse.ly or Chartbeat to see if those links are successfully penetrating the fickle social media universe. They’re explaining to another young reporter why she needs to change the name on her Twitter account to, well, anything else but @FoxyGrrrl15. What’s that? You don’t have a social media team anymore? It was abandoned in the pivot to video, or maybe during the third round of staff cuts since April? In that case, someone might remember to post a photo on Instagram in between remaking the home page and writing a city council meeting brief. A decade ago, Facebook, Twitter and subsequent platforms were viewed suspiciously by some people in newsrooms and greeted with hope
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In Remote African Tribes, Mobile Phones Are Amazing Tools, but There’s a Downside


This post is by Timothy D. Baird from MediaShift


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Mobile phones are everywhere. In fact, they may be nearly as common on the African savanna as they are on American subways.
File 20170606 3668 1lns0i0 < figcaption>A group of Maasai men look at the mobile phone belonging to one of them. With the explosion of mobile technology in developing countries, a common narrative is that phones are transforming poor people’s lives. Phones, the story goes, reduce the effort required to search for information and make commerce more efficient. As technology has spread, so has research on its effects. With support from the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration, I study how Maasai pastoralists in Tanzania respond to various issues, including biodiversity conservation, globalization and technology. I and others are learning that mobile phones are changing lives, but perhaps not as much as some may think.

Phones as new tools

Recent studies have found that phones are critical new technologies to combat pastoralists’ greatest
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How Technology Becomes ‘Irresistible,’ And What We Can Do to Resist


This post is by Jenny Shank from MediaShift


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In 2015, a video of a group of sorority sisters at an Arizona Diamondbacks game went viral. The young women relentlessly took selfies while flipping their hair, making faces, and showing each other their phones. Presumably, a baseball game was taking place, but they hardly knew it. The action inspired a bit of banter between the television announcers. “That’s the best one of the 300 pictures I’ve taken of myself today!” one said. “Every girl in the picture is locked into her phone,” the announcer observed. “They’re all just completely transfixed by the technology…Can we do an intervention?” Watching these ladies felt like a scientific experiment — a chance to observe the American twenty-something in the grip of a powerful addiction when she doesn’t know she’s being watched. Many people, like the announcers, had a laugh at the women’s expense, while others criticized
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Mobile Journalism Isn’t Just Producing Content. It’s Knowing How Mobile Content Affects Engagement.


This post is by Ronald Yaros from MediaShift


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Story Highlights
  • Mobile analytics are good. Understanding how mobile structures affect mobile analytics is better.
  • Teaching the production of good mobile video is only a part of mobile journalism.
  • Stories with a photo or video followed by pages of text don’t inform scanning mobile users.
If you made it to this sentence and keep reading, that’s due, in part, to your specific interest in mobile and/or journalism. But if a scanning user without such an interest encounters this topic as one in a variety of topics, the structure of this post plays a critical role in user engagement. Researching and teaching mobile journalism to undergraduates since 2011 has provided me with more insights into engagement than any book or webinar could. An audience analytics class later convinced me that the best writing or video alone may not engage the largest mobile audience possible. Complicating the teaching of mobile journalism is “best practices”
Yaros Class
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RJI Futures Lab #186: Mobile Studio and Teleprompter App Bigvu


This post is by Rachel Wise from MediaShift


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Bigvu is an app designed to be a mobile studio for video journalists in the field. It combines a teleprompter with a platform for recording, managing and publishing the videos. Reporting by Gabe Dubois

For more information:
  • Bigvu is being used by several publishers in Europe, including France24, TraceTV, NextPlz, SportYou and Kangai. Spanish news organization 20 Minutos garnered 1.3 million views with the first 11 clips it produced using Bigvu.
  • A post on the Bigvu website outlines seven types of original videos users can produce to drive engagement. Among these examples are breaking news, testimonials and explanation videos.
  • Bigvu is available for both iOS and Android devices.
  Rachel Wise is an editor at the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and co-producer of
RJI Futures Lab web banner
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How Educators and Industry Can Collaborate to Prepare for a Mobile Future


This post is by Gary Kebbel and Vincent Peña from MediaShift


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One of the key lessons we learned from our MobileMe&You conference last year was that we need more people taking risks and experimenting with how to inform mobile audiences. Speakers urged journalists to think about how mobile media demand new ways of gathering and presenting stories. We think the lessons apply perfectly to educators trying to figure out how mobile and social media change what we teach.

Just as journalists are trying to learn new ways to tell stories and reach new audiences, educators are trying to prepare students for jobs that don’t exist yet. Journalists and educators are trying to keep their current audiences while learning to gain new ones. It’s often too much to ask.

MobileMe&You originated at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications facilities in Chicago and San Francisco hosted the 2016 conference.

As Sarah Schmalbach of the Guardian’s U.S. Mobile Innovation Lab put it,

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How the Hindustan Times Is Building the World’s Largest Mobile Journalism Team


This post is by Simone Kovacs from MediaShift


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Yusuf Omar is the Mobile Editor at the Hindustan Times in India. He is currently building the world’s largest in-house mobile journalism team, training 750 reporters to tell stories using their phones. Yusuf was recently awarded at the world’s first ever Snapchat awards — The Ghosties — for his use of social media for social good. Yusuf also won IJNet’s Journalist of the Month in September 2016, for his use of Snapchat to tell the stories of sexual abuse survivors in India — or rather, to allow them to tell their own stories through selfie journalism. In 2015 he won Vodacom Journalist of the Year Editor’s Choice as well being named a Top 20 Global Millennial To Watch In 2016 by Cliff Central. Yusuf’s first forays in mobile journalism began in 2010, when he hitchhiked from South Africa to Syria with nothing but his smartphone and a small handheld camera to tell Continue reading "How the Hindustan Times Is Building the World’s Largest Mobile Journalism Team"

DigitalEd: Smartphone Production In The Classroom


This post is by Kyle Brannon from MediaShift


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Title: Smartphone Production In The Classroom Instructor: Kyle Brannon, Associate Division Director, Film & Media Arts; Assistant Professor, School of Communication, American University

Expand the dynamics of your course by integrating Smartphone Media Production Everyone is a media creator these days. And between Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and other social apps, your students likely have skills you could be putting into action in your classes. Learn what affordable options are out there to make a smartphone into a more robust production tool and what sort of projects might be adapted into your curriculum. What you’ll learn from this training:
  1. Smartphone Production Techniques
  2. Recommended Apps and Accessories
  3. Simple Assignments for Practicing Media Production
  4. Integrating Course Specific Content as Assignments
Who should take this training:
  • Educators who want to include media assignments in their classes
  • Educators teaching media production classes who wish to integrate smartphones
  • Educators designing intro level production courses
Date and Continue reading "DigitalEd: Smartphone Production In The Classroom"

RJI Futures Lab #173: Comparing Live-Streaming Apps


This post is by Rachel Wise from MediaShift


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Reporting by Hailey Godburn and Rachel Wise.  It’s never been so easy to just hop on a live video stream and broadcast to the world from wherever you are. So now that anyone with a smartphone can do this, the question is which tool makes the most sense to use? In this episode, we compare three different live-streaming services — Facebook Live, Kanvas for Tumblr and Periscope. We also take a look at what YouTube has in development for going live.

For more information:

Mobile Journalism: Defining a New Storytelling Language


This post is by Clothilde Goujard from MediaShift


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Across the world, mobile journalists are telling riveting stories with little more than a smartphone in hand. This piece, originally published on IJNET is a part of a series that will examine how we define mobile journalism, how traditional newsrooms are adapting, citizen contributions, how mobile is improving journalism and disruption in mobile journalism. One mobile phone. That’s all you need to be a mobile journalist, or a mojo, as practitioners call themselves. If they have been attracting attention for several years, starting wasn’t particularly easy. As mobile phones’ cameras and audio recorders got better, the internet saw a gradual increase in the number of amateur videos uploaded to platforms like YouTube. But in some newsrooms, a few tech-savvy journalists saw the opportunity to use their mobiles as a reporting tool. “I was taken by the technology when at first, I realized it was possible to stream live videos with a mobile
Neal Augenstein. File photo.
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How Snapchat is Changing the Way We Communicate


This post is by Bethany Swain from MediaShift


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Bethany Swain admits on Snapchat that "sometimes I get carried away snapchatting sequences." (Snapchat selfie: Bethany Swain)

Bethany Swain admits on Snapchat that “sometimes I get carried away snapchatting sequences.” (Snapchat selfie: Bethany Swain)

Thousands of years ago, cavemen painted in caves to tell stories. Today, my students’ favorite way to share stories is an app where their posts disappear after they’ve been watched. Unlike the cave paintings of bison and birds, Snapchats are only designed to last 24 hours after they’ve been shared. Snapchat is changing the way we communicate. The app is affecting our audience, even if you don’t use the social media platform. I noticed changes in video throughout all my social media, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I began seeing these changes at the same time I started to use Snapchat. I was confused when my students first asked me to join Snapchat. I didn’t understand the appeal of an app with disappearing messages. But this is an appealing way
Susan Shinn UMD '17 works on a story for her ViewFinder capstone class. Her video is produced horizontally because it will be enjoyed on numerous platforms (snapchat: Bethany Swain)
Bradleigh Chance UMD '15 works for NBC and ran the @MSNBC Snapchat account for a behind the scenes look at the red carpet at the White House Correspondents Dinner on April 30, 2016.
Multiple screens for breaking news (Photo: Bethany Swain).
Good Luck America with Peter Hamby is an example of the original content Snapchat is creating for the audience to consume in their app, on their phones.
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5 Numbers that Illustrate the Rise of Mobile Media


This post is by Ben DeJarnette from MediaShift


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This is a sponsored preview post for next month’s MobileMe&You2 conference in San Francisco and Chicago. First there were “mobile editors.” Then there were mobile innovation labs. Now there are mobile journalism awards, mobile media trainings, and, yes, even entire mobile media conferences.
On Oct. 28-29, the MobileMe&You2 conference will bring together mobile media leaders from across the nation, creating a spark of like-minded collaboration and opportunities to learn best practices from traditional and emerging media. Topics at this year’s conference will include VR journalism, drone journalism, glance journalism (how to program for wearables), snap journalism (how to reach audiences on Snapchat), and other forms of mobile media.
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The event, which kicks off with a reception on Thursday evening, Oct. 27, will take place simultaneously in two locations — downtown Chicago and downtown San Francisco — thanks to digital connections between Northwestern University’s Medill
Photo by Bert Kaufmann on Flickr and used here with Creative Commons license.
Mobile traffic continues to gain prominence over desktop traffic across media sectors
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5 Takeaways from RJI Study on Millennials Reading Longform Stories on Mobile


This post is by Aleszu Bajak from MediaShift


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This piece was initially published on Storybench, a cookbook for digital storytelling. Storybench is a collaboration between Northeastern University’s Media Innovation program, a new graduate degree in digital journalism, and Esquire magazine. You’ve done the weeks and possibly months of reporting, you’ve crafted thousands of words, and now you’ve packaged  your longform story for mobile. But will people read it? Yes, especially if you reduce distractions, break up sections of text, and use relevant visuals and interactive elements. That’s according to a new report published last month by researchers at the University of Missouri’s Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute that surveyed the longform mobile reading habits of 53 millennials using “eye tracking, semi-structured interviews, focus groups and paper prototyping.” Storybench pulled out five takeaways from the study.

1. Use the rotation and swiping capabilities of mobile to enhance the longform reading experience

“‘Interactive’ features mentioned by our participants included entering text, clicking, tapping, swiping, and scrolling. Cellphones
Photo by Paul Reynolds on Flickr and reused here with Creative Commons license.
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AOL Publisher Outlook: Mobile Rising, but Ad-Blocking a Big Issue


This post is by Ben DeJarnette from MediaShift


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




A report released by AOL last week offers a glimpse into the future of mobile advertising — even if its findings must be taken with a grain of salt. In a survey of about 300 publishers, AOL Platforms found that three-quarters of publishers plan to increase investment in mobile within the next 12 months; 49 percent see ad blockers as a major challenge to boosting mobile ad revenue; and 43 percent view better audience metrics as a primary advertising growth opportunity. The report comes amid a trend of rapid growth in mobile content and advertising. According to Pew’s 2016 State of the News Media report, advertisers spent $31.6 billion on mobile advertising in 2015 — up from $19.2 billion a year earlier. And that number is only expected to grow as consumers spend more time tethered to their mobile devices, and as publishers improve and expand their mobile offerings. The AOL report offers yet
A screen shot from AOL's 2016 Publisher Outlook report.
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Making the Most of Mobile: Knight Study Highlights Need for Nimble Newsrooms


This post is by Shazna Nessa from MediaShift


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The following piece is a guest post from Shazna Nessa, the director of journalism at Knight Foundation. Guest posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this publication. Read more about MediaShift guest posts here. There’s plenty of data to digest in the Knight Foundation-commissioned report, conducted with Nielsen and released this week, on how different U.S. audiences use smartphones to access news and information. The fast growth of mobile news consumption over the past two years is one of many things that stand out: “In fact, 89 percent of the U.S. mobile population (144 million users) now access news and information via their mobile devices,” according to the report. “Mobile-First News: How People Use Smartphones to Access Information” points to a promising appetite for “hard news” about current and global events, with a substantial amount of engagement taking place on social networking platforms. It
CC0 Public Domain photo.
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How Mobile is Magnifying the Local News Landscape


This post is by Louis Gump from MediaShift


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The following opinion piece is a guest post and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of this publication. Read more about MediaShift guest posts here.

Ten years ago, a traditional TV set was the primary source of video news for most of us; today, many people watch the same events on their smartphone, or on their connected TV device. Mobility is the new revolution. The Internet is no longer the exclusive domain of computers. Similarly, TV is no longer living in a box.

As we head to NAB in Las Vegas in a few weeks, many local TV news operators will have mobile on their minds, especially as its capabilities increase. As impactful as television on a home TV ever was, it’s even more powerful now that consumers can take it with them. We have more content choices available in more places. If anything, TV stations have increased opportunities to

Video camera
Photo by Dineshraj Goomany on Flickr and reused here with Creative Commons license.
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How Dynamic Ad Insertion Will Make Its Way to Live-Streaming Apps


This post is by Matt Smith from MediaShift


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The following opinion piece is a guest post and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of this publication. Read more about MediaShift guest posts here. So we’ve clearly established that the revolution will be televised – and streamed. There is no mistaking the explosion of content to screens of varying shape, size and connectivity. As consumption skyrockets and choice expands, a few challenges are emerging. No matter what you call it – over the top (OTT), streaming, TV Everywhere – IP-cased video delivery is called to be “better than broadcast” and must harmonize a variety of requirements in order to facilitate this massive growth to incorporate killer experience with monetization and more. Dynamic ad insertion (called DAI) is absolutely critical to nearly all TV Everywhere and/or OTT strategies and deployments today. Plain and simple, digital decision makers need to look at these opportunities and begin planning for these offerings to
By Ed Yourdon - originally posted to Flickr as NY Jets vs. Buffalo, Oct 2009 - 05, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9381875
CC0 Public Domain photo.
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6 Best News Apps of 2015


This post is by Dena Levitz from MediaShift


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Click the image for the full year in review.

Click here or on the image for the full year in review.

Providing a consolidated news digest was the name of the app game last year. Everyone from the New York Times, with NYT Now, to Watchup and Newsbeat, which collect articles and then showcase them to users in video and radio formats, tried it. In 2015, then, the popular path for publishers, via their mobile offerings, was to take this one step further — help make sense of global happenings or at least to make the curation more personalized, sophisticated and tailored. This year, too, the new class of apps that stood out from the crowd, came from legacy outlets as well as startups. Here are six that did something unique, making news consumption, in some way, better:

1. Wildcard

wildcard322x572

AppStore screenshot.

The tagline for the Wildcard iPhone app is “Know the Day.” What that means for the
LinkedIn Pulse. Screenshot.
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Photo by  Jim Makos and used here with Creative Commons license.
Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 10.38.24 AM
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The Race for Speed and Mobility: The Year in Analytics


This post is by Alexandra Kanik from MediaShift


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Click the image for the full year in review.

Click here or on the image for the full year in review.

The past year saw some pretty revolutionary advances to how we publish and share content. The numbers have shown us that more and more readers are ditching their desktops in favor of mobile devices and fewer of us are waiting around for slideshows to load. We know what the numbers are saying because the tools and resources that allow us to track our content are growing in quantity and quality as we speak. Let’s take a look back at 2015 and glean some insight into what’s in store for 2016 in the ever-growing arena of web analytics.

Google AMP

LOOKING BACK:
Google has been busy this year. In addition to celebrating the 10th birthday of their beloved analytics platform they’ve also announced a couple of very interesting features. In October, Google let the world know about, Accelerated Mobile Pages. AMP, as
analytics.usa.gov website screenshot.
Graphic by Parsley
BuzzFeed video screenshot.
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