Journalism agenda: “5 trends to watch in mobile-first news…

5 trends to watch in mobile-first news

As mobile audiences continue to grow, keep an eye on these five trends emerging from research by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

In the immediate aftermath of the attack in Nice, French authorities called on social media users to “act responsibly” and “avoid sharing rumors”. The tweets from the French government highlight the role of media literacy and the impact digital bystanders can play during a moment of crisis. However, it also highlighted the need to foster new norms and skills for how online crowds behave during breaking news.


Many more people consume news via browsers than via native apps — but those who do use apps spend much more time using them each month, according to a new study out today from the University of Texas’ Engaging News Project.

The study analyzed comScore data (from September 2015) for 25 different news organizations. On average, people accessing sites via a mobile browser spent 3.4 minutes a month; via a desktop browser, 11.7 minutes a month. But people using a news organization’s mobile app, time spent soared to 95.7 minutes — and for tablet app users, a remarkable 111.7 minutes.

Which of these bots do you use to get news updates?
Here are 6 reasons why newspapers have dropped their paywalls

The New York Times launched its metered paywall in 2011. Since then, newspapers across the United States have followed the Times’ lead by introducing their own digital subscription programs. Of the 98 U.S. newspapers with circulation higher than 50,000, nearly 80 percent have some sort of paywall, according to an American Press Institute study published earlier this year.

Hoaxes and old imagery are now part of the digital debris around big news events, so journalists need to know how to sort the real from the fake quickly.

Witnessing, activism, journalism — and the boundaries of free speech in the Facebook age

Diamond “Lavish” Reynolds changed our perception of media last week with hershocking and heartbreaking real-time web video of the last minutes of Philando Castile’s life. The couple, with her daughter riding in the back seat of their sedan, had been pulled over by local police in a Minneapolis suburb, and Reynolds had the astonishing presence of mind to send the aftermath of Castile’s shooting by a police officer — which included her arrest by cops who didn’t even try to save his life — to the world via Facebook’s “Live” video platform.

Check out this free tool for building animated videos

Making sure newsworthy pictures and videos are real is more important than ever, but that doesn’t mean journalists have to do it alone.

Eyewitnesses have always been central to how journalists cover the news, but social media presents new challenges in how they are contacted and credited.

Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith says he begins every morning the same way.

“The first thing I do in the morning before I brush my teeth, before I eat breakfast, is check the price of oil,” Smith told me.

Oil prices are hovering around $45 a barrel these days. That’s up from under $30 earlier this year, but still way down from recent peaks; as recently as 2014, prices were over $100 per barrel, and experts believe that the oil market won’t return to that level anytime soon.


Here’s a simple tip for publishers looking looking to attract readers on Medium: Start with what already works on the platform (first-person stories), and avoid what doesn’t (straight news).

Obvious advice, perhaps, but that idea has become core to The Washington Post’s Medium strategy over the past few months. Medium, despite being a popular choice for hate reads, hot takes, and stories of corporate failure, isn’t known for being a particularly significant source of traffic. But the unique strengths of the platform, coupled with the kinds of people who read it, have made it an attractive target for publishers either way.


On Wednesday, The Financial Times began testing blocking a tiny percentage ofregistered readers on desktop who have adblockers turned on, reports Jeremy Barr over at Ad Age. Instead of displaying a non-dismissable message to subscribe or a plea to turn off adblockers, the Financial Times is removing entire words from articles. The experiment is a real-life extension of the whimsical tactic of “disemvoweling,” put in place years ago on Boing Boing and Gawker Media sites and suggested not long ago by Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos as a way to extract a little money from interested readers.

When a gunman opened fire on police officers at a Black Lives Matter march in Dallas ten days ago, the city devolved into chaos. As with any breaking news event, especially one in a city centre, eyewitnesses were quick to upload footage from the scene.

One in particular struck a chord.

Facebook opened Instant Articles to all publishers in April, and Google introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages last October.

These are just a few of the most notable options right now, and they signal the beginning of an era: Major brands are becoming increasingly innovative about getting users to spend more time on their sites.

Remember when bots were all the rage? Waaaaaaaaay back in April, Facebook announced that it would begin supporting bots within its Messenger chat app, and CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and other publishers — along with lots of retailers and other #brands — launched bots on the platform.

Should Facebook Live videos be raw and unpolished, or TV-style livestreams?
Sponsored: Digital news publishers relying on commonly accepted best times of day to share on Facebook in the hope of click-through could be failing to maximise their social media engagement opportunities

Here’s some good news and bad news for publishers losing sleep over the rise of adblocking: The good news is that most people don’t hate all ads. The bad news is that, no, they won’t turn off their adblockers, even if you beg them.

Can Fact-Checking Save Democracy—and Journalism as We Know It?

Pinocchio, the fictional character whose nose grows larger when he lies, is often used as symbol in fact-checking. Art by Enrico Mazzanti (1852-1910). Public Domain.

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