TV news director talks mobile

Chris Gegg is the news director at WMTV in Madison, Wisconsin. Following the release of the 2010 Pew Center report on mobile access for Americans, Gegg pulled out what he sees as some of the most interesting data.

According to the report: among all cell phone owners:
• 54% have used their mobile device to send someone a photo or video
• 23% have accessed a social networking site using their phone
• 20% have used their phone to watch a video
• 15% have posted a photo or video online
• 11% have purchased a product using their phone
• 10% have used their mobile phone to access a status update service such as Twitter

Gegg says mobile is a vital part of the station’s multimedia strategy.

“Our viewers and users are always on the go, so with our mobile products (including our apps for the iPhone and Android), they can get the news they need at anytime, and anywhere. Our page views on our mobile product climb every month,” Gegg says.

For example, he points out that from May to July 2010, mobile usage of WMTV content climbed 51 percent.

“Also, we consider our viewers/users our eyes in the community. As noted in a recent Pew study, 54% of all cell phone owners have sent a photo or video via their cell phones. Viewer-submitted photos and video is so valuable to us during severe weather and breaking news situation,” Gegg says.

In addition, WMTV reporters and photographers send video and pictures from breaking news scenes that the station can post instantly on the website and social media sites, as well.

Gegg says mobile strategies are going to become increasingly important for journalists to understand.