“We’re doing mobile journalism wrong.”
Judd Slivka teaches mobile journalism at the University of Missouri and says he’s tested more than 700 apps in the process.
So, why is this mobile evangelist down on mobile news gathering as it’s done today?
“We’re trying to use the tools to create TV packages, what used to work in the traditional news culture. We’re not playing to the technology’s strengths,” says Slivka.
According to him, mobile has four big advantages:
1. Mobile gives a force multiplier effect. Think of a story — tragic or otherwise — where you need to flood the area with assets. Every news staffer with a mobile phone can be used to gather the kind of quick-hit video and interviews that resonate over social media.
2. Mobile gives us a single production platform. Typically we’d report on a camera or audio recorder, transfer a card to a laptop and assemble and edit there, transmit either from the laptop or through a sat transmitter and then watch social reaction via phone or laptop. Mobile consolidates that and reduces time-to-publish.
3. We can go direct to social fast. This is where the brand battle is going to be increasingly won and lost, as flagship products such as newscasts and websites become places for deep story details. Mobile platforms are built as social tools and can help us get accurate information to the audience ahead of competitors.
4. The app universe lets us build novel content. Content won’t look the same when we build it from a phone — and that’s a good thing. Using a collage app like Diptic or PicPlayPost, still images or videos can be presented in a way that lets the audience decide how they want to interact with the story. 360 Panorama can do an immersive 360-degree shot, for example, to show the breadth of damage at a natural disaster or what a football field looks like at halftime of a big game.
Slivka says we need to be thinking about “mobile made” as a separate content form.
“It’s bite-sized and consumable.”