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#Tip: Take a note of this list of tools and apps via the ONA conference

November 14th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

Image by Jenn Durfey on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Reporters from Gannett (which owns Newsquest in the UK, and a number of US-based outlets), who attended the ONA conference last month, were using this Tumblr blog to look at the expert pointers shared and subjects discussed during the event. One post in particular offers a great list of tools and apps which journalists can use for a multitude of tasks, including a number of ways to track social media, such as during breaking news events.

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#Tip: Check out these 21 tips for ‘mobile ninjas’

November 4th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Mobile, Top tips for journalists

You don’t have to go all out with mobile journalism – sometimes the traditional methods are still the best – but being aware of all the potential tools at your disposal can help you choose the best ones for the job.

At the Online News Association’s recent conference Jeremy Caplan, education director at the Tow-Knight Centre for Entrepreneurial Journalism, gave a talk including ’21 tips for mobile ninjas’, now shared as a Google doc.

As well as a range of hardware that is useful when reporting from the scene, he includes advice on best practice and a selection of useful apps for taking and editing photos, recording audio, video production, mobile publishing, live streaming and more. You might not need all of them but the range and detail of information in should have something for everyone.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link.
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#Tip: App advice for capturing and editing mobile images

September 11th, 2013 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Mobile, Photography, Top tips for journalists
By Das-Fotoimaginarium on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

By Das-Fotoimaginarium on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

The website for photo agency Pocketstock has an ‘expert guide’ from photographer Richard Gray, which offers a useful list of apps for capturing and editing images on the go – a useful reference for journalists looking to make the most of their smartphone on the ground.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link.
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#Tip of the day for journalists: Five iPad interview apps

November 7th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Mobile, Top tips for journalists

On the 10,000 Words blog Ryan Lytle lists five iPad apps that he cites as being “great for handling interviews”. The apps include one for transcribing recordings, another for recording, storing and sharing, and one which places a timestap notes to help you quickly find specific audio.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link.

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#mms12: Lessons for consumer publishers from Immediate Media

September 25th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Magazines, Mobile

At today’s Mobile Media Strategies conference, Rebekah Billingsley, mobile publisher, Immediate Media, explained how the publisher, which was formed in November 2011 after a merger of BBC Worldwide magazines, Origin Publishing and Magicalia, has become the “second largest publisher of digital magazines”, based on Immediate’s own tally, with more than 1.3 million downloads to date and 16 apps downloaded every second.

Immediate Media launched its first magazine app in 2010 when it released Focus, later following with Good Food, which is now the “highest rated magazine app in Newsstand”.

When Apple’s Newsstand launched in October 2011 “sales quadrupled overnight”, Billingsley said. The same month as Newsstand launched, Immediate Media launched its History Magazine to Kindle.

And the previous year it started releasing ‘bookazines’, single editions with a long shelf-life. Two years on and the publisher aims to launch three bookezines a month and “every month they are making more and more money”, Billingsley told delegates.

Today 48 per cent of Immediate’s revenue from Apple comes from outside the UK and monthly PDF revenues have grown 500 per cent since launch.

“Be prepared to be surprised,” Billingsley urged delegates.

She had thought consumers would only opt for “enhanced, fully interactive models”. But recent ABC figures show “four out of the top 10 sellers are PDF replicas”.

Billingsley was also surprised by the numbers reading magazines on their phones, with 10 per cent of magazines bought via Zinio read on phones.

“Launching our titles gave us access to data in lots of countries,” Billingsley said, explaining they are now planning the roadmap based on actual data.

Billingsley warned:

Don’t just assume on behalf of your consumers. It’s new to them as well.

One thing Immediate did in order to convince advertisers of the value of the new app products was to hire 20 iPads and send them to media planners and also equipped sales teams with the devices.

And Billingsley’s advice for consumer publishers considering apps?

As long as you are using cost-effective technology and testing you can try new things.

She also encouraged the repackaging of existing content.

Her final words of advice were to “watch your competitors, better still take them to lunch”.

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#jpod – Personalising the news experience: Publishers and social reader apps

In this week’s podcast news editor Rachel McAthy finds out more about the ways digital journalism is being curated and highly personalised for consumers via social magazines and personalised news apps.

She also finds out why news outlets like CNN have decided to invest in such technology, what the potential benefits are for web traffic and business looking forward and why news outlets need to give up control to some extent in order to successfully engage on these platforms.

In this podcast we hear from:

  • Peter Bale, general manager, digital, CNN International
  • Jim Brady, editor-in-chief, Digital First Media
  • Roman Karachinsky, chief executive, News360

Here is more from on News360.

For more on the way different publishing platforms in the news industry are approaching curation and aggregation of news, listen to this previous podcast.

You can hear future podcasts by signing up to the iTunes podcast feed.

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#GEN2012 talks newsreader apps – ‘Let content be a travelling salesman’

By Drnantu on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Social magazines and newsreading apps are a “key part of the puzzle”, if not a game-changer on their own, when it comes to digital strategy for publishers, and news outlets should be prepared to give up control over how content is shared on other platforms.

In a session on social magazines and newsreading apps at the News World Summit in Paris editor-in-chief of Digital First Media Jim Brady said the technology is responding to the changing ways people are accessing content.

Consumers coming into the market made it pretty clear about what they want – they want choice, they don’t want to necessarily consume a package containing content from one brand.

Tthey don’t necessarily want to get it on the platform you’re delivering it to. They want to consume information by subject in a lot of cases and not by brand.

And in order to meet these needs news outlets need to “step away” from the mentality of “trying to maintain control”.

The more control you try to exert the less successful you’re going to be.

He added that publishers of high-quality content should “do all the things you have to do to let people in the world know” about what you’re producing.

Let your content serve as a travelling salesman.

Publishers’ “resistance of giving up control is something we have to give up”.

He also warned that websites are becoming “less and less important”.

Newsreading apps are highlighting that “more of your audience are consuming content, not print and not the web, a third whole category of content”, he said.

So Brady encouraged publishers to let go of control and get content on these platforms.

You can’t cant change the game until you change the thinking. That’s where we’re still short.

Robert Picard, research director at the Reuters Institute added that publishers do not have the choice of whether such platforms increase in importance.

The choice available “is whether we make use of them to best possible use”, he said.

Or news outlets can have their own social readers, he added. But then the challenge is how to get users to engage with their content, rather than others.

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New Sun app comes top in iTunes paid-for news chart

February 16th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Mobile, Online Journalism

A new iPhone application from the Sun has become the most downloaded paid-for news app on the iTunes store this week – in its first week on the market.

The Sun app is currently sitting at number 10 in the overall league table of paid-for applications and is number one in the news category, with the Daily Mash in second.

Downloaders are being lured with an introductory price of 69p for the first month. The price of a monthly subscription rises to £4.99 after the first month.

The app automatically updates throughout the day with breaking news, and also includes live sports results, horoscopes, picture galleries and location-based weather updates.

It is the latest in a range of applications being launched by News International for its daily national titles. The Sun launched an Android application last month and the Times unveiled a web app earlier this week.

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#news2011: A guide to APIs and why ‘everybody who has content’ needs one

API is a term that is increasingly referred to in relation to news outlets. APIs are not new – indeed it has been two years since the Guardian launched it’s open API. But what does it mean for the online journalism industry today and why is are APIs so important?

On the third and final day of the Global Editors Network news summit we heard from Torsten de Riese, who is managing director of NewsCred, which, as he explained, “runs a content API and serves the world’s best journalism”.

He offered delegates a helpful description of APIs and explanation of why they are so useful to content providers, which I got him to expand on in an interview after the session.

The most important part of API is the I, the interface. API is the interface for your content for the rest of world.

It’s the interface to building products, the interface to your apps, it’s the interface to your web, it’s the interface to your IPTV presence.

It enables you to build stuff with your content. It basically takes content, standardises it in terms of format, tagging etc. You can decide how much you want to tag, what standards you want to apply.

Every time someone wants to take your content and build something, they know exactly how to get it.

De Riese, who was involved in the launch of the Guardian’s open API, told the conference that, at the Guardian, there was a “vision to get developers to use our content, build stuff and so we just opened it up”, with “hundreds” of developers now using it and building “really exciting stuff”.

He added that the way the Guardian was able to build its Facebook app recently was thanks to its API. Today the Guardian announced its Facebook app has so far been installed by over four million users.

Developers can just go and build stuff. There are lots of people out there who want to do that, who just want to get on with it. If you give them something they can do something, they can use it.

APIs couples with enthusiasm in the developer community means publishers can “tap into this wonderful world of developers and allow them to come up with some really interesting stuff”.

In the audio interview below I talk to De Riese about APIs and why content providers “all need” the technology.

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#news2011: ‘Content is king, efficient delivery is King Kong’ and ‘experience is queen’

Media consumers today have the options of numerous screens when accessing content, but a session at the Global Editors Network news summit today focused on building a “four-screen strategy: mobile, tablet, PC and IPTV”.

The session opened with a powerful speech from former director general of Al Jazeera Wadah Khanfar, whose comments embodied the standpoint of content being “king”.

Concentrate on content. People demand accuracy and credibility. Content is the king, platforms and distribution should be there to service, but the strategy is always to integrate the content in a centralised location then redistribute the output.

He went on to say that “technology sometimes distracts us”.

It should not become central to the extent that the journalist becomes a technician and loses touch with the pillars of the profession. He has to be the journalist, but sometimes he has to be the technician.

We demand too much sometimes for our journalists. It starts from one important departure – from our responsibilities.

… We are here to understand what is behind the surface and what exactly the story means. We need to think beyond the data.

Continuing the metaphor Guido Baumhauer, director of strategy for marketing and distribution at Deutsche Welle, said that “content is king, efficient delivery is King Kong.”

We have to understand what it is people are interested in, that’s where the technology kicks in.

And the delivery of this is determined by their POPE strategy, he said – “plan once publish everywhere”. He described it further to me in an interview after the session:

The idea behind it is if you want to reach different platforms with your content you have to tailor it to the needs of the platform and target groups. It can never be done if you produce once and publish everywhere. So if there’s a television item that you then put on a mobile device or on a similar device, it doesn’t really make any sense.

But if you plan from beginning that there is some part of the content that you have produced that will go to mobile and some that will go to television, it means you plan once then publish everywhere and that does make sense.

During the session he also said “we have to stop thinking in broadcasting terms”.

We have to become part of the dialogue. If [the audience] still stands at the gate, he or she will just walk around us because the gate has no fence anymore. We have to become part of the network.

The BBC’s controller of digital and technology James Montgomery also shared the broadcaster’s approach to multiplatforms, telling the conference the BBC is “trying to move towards seamless coherence between platforms” and offer “access to the same content in different ways”.

By creating a “joined-up experience and content delivered across multiple platforms” he said that “adding a fifth or sixth [screen] in the future wouldn’t be difficult”.

In terms of use across different platforms at different times of the day, he said mobile devices tend to “spike” in the morning while access via desktops is more prevalent at lunchtime. He said the research also showed mobile – and especially tablets – were peaked in the evenings.

On the subject of tablets, the final panel member to present, Patrice Slupowski, vice president of digital innovation and communities at Orange, unveiled for the first time a new iPad app not yet launched called Newsblend, with the declaration that “if content is king … experience is queen”.

The app brings together “videos, drawings, polls and social media” along with news articles, and mixes them together to create a “social magazine”.

It is a smart clustering of news and social media.

The app content is currently in French but there are plans to launch an English version also when it goes live next year.

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