February 25, 2013
The Reese News Lab, an experimental news and research project at the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication, has published a pioneering e-book called “News on the go: Field notes on storytelling for mobile devices.” The book, edited by the lab’s senior producer, Sara Peach, offers tips on how journalists can produce engaging content for mobile users. It is available for download.
Americans are rapidly adopting mobile devices, transforming the way they obtain news. Nearly one in five Americans now access the Internet primarily using their phone, not a computer, according to an April 2012 survey by the Pew Internet & American Life project. In June 2012, the Reese staff – a team of designers, programmers and journalists – decided to explore how this trend could affect journalism. They created stories meant to be consumed on smart phones and tablets and launched WhichWayNC.com, a “mobile-first” project focused on North Carolina politics.
Their experiences in developing mobile-friendly content form the basis of the book. Its chapters, which are arranged thematically, include advice about the following topics and more:
- Adapting graphics and videos for a small mobile screen
- Writing strong headlines and focused stories to attract busy readers
- Developing and designing interactive tools for the mobile user
- Fostering an innovative newsroom
“We need to make sure we’re accommodating today’s news consumers,” Peach said. “We hope this book will guide journalists as they adapt their storytelling for mobile platforms.”