Logo

Smart Phones, Smarter News

Apr 11, 2010  •  Post A Comment

By Hillary Atkin

Some are calling it "the newsroom in the palm of your hand." For news professionals across all strata of the business, the recent proliferation of information-based apps for iPhones and other smart phones has been a boon to the newsgathering process — as well as for audiences.

MSNBC, CBS News, CNN, The New York Times, NPR, Bloomberg, Time Magazine, Slate, the BBC, USA Today, Huffington Post, ABC News — just about every major news organization, publication and Web site has a mobile app. Several local stations, including NBC affiliate 9News Denver, ABC7 Los Angeles and WALA Fox10TV, have also jumped onto the mobile phone screen with their own applications.

The evolution of up-to-the minute information has been remarkable. "For me, it’s dramatic, even from yesterday. It seems to grow every day. The beauty is it keeps growing exponentially," said Steve Lange, news director and vice president of content or KNBC-TV, Los Angeles. "You can grind down to very specific niches, which helps in coverage and shaping stories. You can sit in one place and survey what’s going on and get a sense of different voices on complex subjects like health care reform."

The staffers in KNBC’s Burbank, Calif. newsroom — like those in newsrooms everywhere — generally find themselves in one of two camps: iPhone or BlackBerry. “We have wars going on here," said Lange. “But everybody is copying that iPhone app format, so whoever is supplying it, you’re getting the same kind of stuff at your fingertips. It gives us more information and then we figure out how to use it.”

Although other cell phones are not precluded, BlackBerrys are the company-approved device at the Hearst Television station group, which is working on rolling out its "next-generation newsroom" initiative. It incorporates cell phones, laptops, webcams and editing tools in an effort to integrate everything and enable publishing, posting and broadcasting on any platform.

“Using apps on our BlackBerrys allows us to type text quickly, and send pictures and video back," said Brian Bracco, vice president of news for Hearst Television. “The smart phone itself untethers us from the newsroom, and lets people get documents in the field quickly, like contact lists. It’s one of the tools that is quickly revolutionizing how we do our job. It also allows us to put things on Twitter and Facebook right from field, attaching a photo or a short video clip.”

Bracco said he is excited by all the new technology that makes newsgathering more efficient, but he is mindful of the fact that when it comes to mobile phones, especially, many become obsolete within about 18 months.

“Whether it is new devices or apps for devices, it’s mind-numbing and amazing how fast the technology is changing," he said. "While we are currently using BlackBerrys, there may be something else on the horizon that’s better, that will make our jobs easier in getting information faster to all these platforms.”

Lange, who reflected back on the days when reporters had pagers and then alphanumeric pagers before they carried basic cell phones — which they often didn’t answer — said that with every bit of technology, the communication also gets infinitely better. He counts The New York Times, ESPN and the Los Angeles Times among his go-to mobile phone apps, saying, “There’s great access to a lot of different things that can help you.”

42 Comments

  1. Thanks for your visiting this http://www.watchau.com online store.

  2. Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.

  3. This is an extremely good site you have going here. The matter is very informative and straight to the point. Excited to read more about your blog next time.

  4. Thanks for your visiting this http://www.watchau.com online store.

  5. Thank you for a great post

  6. Thanks for your visiting this http://www.hello-free.com/freebies online store.

  7. Thanks for your visiting this http://www.hello-free.com/freebies online store.

  8. Found your site today on Yahoo Search. Very nice site. Do you have a mailing list of some sort?

  9. Great blog, appreciate the effort put into this post! Thanks! 😀

  10. Found your site today through Google. Great blog you’ve got, bookmarked.

  11. Great blog, appreciate the effort put into this post! Thanks! 😀

  12. My bro told me about this site just today. Great blog you’ve got!

  13. My bro told me about this site just today. Great blog you’ve got!

  14. Very informative, thanks for clearing up some issues for me! :)

  15. This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like ‘Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of “neighbors” will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune “Social” is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

  16. My bro told me about this site just today. Great blog you’ve got!

  17. Interesting thoughts here. I appreciate you taking the time to share them with us all. It’s people like you that make my day :)

  18. wow you have put alot of effort into this post!Thanks

  19. wow youve put loads of effort into this post!Thanks

  20. really nice, thanks!

  21. High quality info here! Keep up the great work. I love the feelings being expressed.

  22. Kudos to you! This is a really good blog here and I love your style of writing. How did you get so good at blogging?

  23. I know I love all of the apps and stuff that go with the smart phones. Great blog I love all of your great content.

  24. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know wheere u got this from. thanks

  25. I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days.. :)

  26. I love the expression. Everyone needs to express there own opinion and feel free to hear others. Keep it up :)

  27. Kudos to you! This is a really good blog here and I love your style of writing. How did you get so good at blogging?

  28. Nice blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host are you using? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  29. Way to focus and straight to your point, i love it. Keep up the work people. Dont let anyone stop us bloggers.

  30. Nice!! Great Ifo. Great People. Great Blog. Thank you for all the great sharing that is being done here.

  31. Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.

  32. Kudos to you! This is a really good blog here and I love your style of writing. How did you get so good at blogging?

  33. Nice blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host are you using? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  34. You make blogging look like a walk in the park! I’ve been trying to blog daily but I just cant find writing material.. you’re an inspiration to me and i’m sure many others!

  35. You make blogging look like a walk in the park! I’ve been trying to blog daily but I just cant find writing material.. you’re an inspiration to me and i’m sure many others!

  36. I would like to start my own blog one day. This was a really nice blog that you made here. Keep up the success 😛

  37. I really like the colors here on your blog. did you design this yourself or did you outsource it to a professional?

  38. Keep focusing on your blog. I love how we can all express our feelings. This is an extremely nice blog here :)

  39. Can I just say what a comfort to locate a star who in reality knows what theyre discussion about on the online worlds. You absolutely make out how toward bring an matter to glow plus make it important. More public call for to read this plus understand this side of the narrative. I cant consider youre not extra well-liked because you positively have the gift.

  40. I would like to start my own blog one day. This was a really nice blog that you made here. Keep up the success 😛

  41. Neat blog layout! Very easy on the eyes.. i like the colors you picked out

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)