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Best of Bo: The Rules of Mobile Journalism & the Mag Industry's Identity Crisis

Written by Jillean Kearney on November 14, 2014


The Changing Rules of Mobile Journalism

Mobile publishing is forcing the rules of journalism to change and evolve, but newspapers have been slow to adapt (even though almost half of their page views come from mobile devices).

Mobile publishing poses many challenges for newspaper. For example, publishers have a very limited amount of time to engage mobile readers. Consumers are on their phones for about 2.5 hours a day, and this time is divided in to 150 sessions a day. This averages out to each session lasting less than half a minute. So publishers don't have much time to capture someone's attention. Alan Mutter, of Reflections of a Newsosaur, wrote, " publishing is the antithesis of traditional journalism, which favors deliberation and depth over the speed and sass characterizing the top mobile sites."

In an effort to encourage newspapers to build and foster competitive mobile presences, Mutter put together a guideline. First on the list is reporting. Digital deadlines force journalists to get content up online as quickly as possible - sometimes without all the facts. Mutter wrote:

"While some web natives are notoriously slipshod about confirming information, the continuing credibility of newspapers means they can't publish first and ask questions later. The new 'Watching' feature on the New York Times website helps solve the fast vs. fact dilemma by letting the reader watch the news unfold in real time with continuously updated staff, eyewitness and third-party reporting. Live feeds (including video, where possible), work equally well for both breaking stories and such schedules events as the State of the Union address."

Read the full list over at Reflections of A Newsosaur.

The Magazine Industry's Identity Crisis

According to BoSacks, magazines are having a really hard time defining their brands in the current landscape of the industry - he even wonders if it's possible. In his article, "What's the Magazine Industry's Brand Identity," BoSacks asks, "Is defining the brand of the magazine industry even possible in this day and age given we are no longer beholden to a single deliverable substrate and deliver our product in hundreds of ways?"

These days, it's hard for magazines to set them self apart. "What is the promise of the magazine media industry that can't be replicated by any other industry and therefore separates us from every other maker and distributer of words and ideas? Or are all makers of words and ideas that contain pictures part of the magazine business," BoSacks asked.

It all gets more confusing as more publishers try to rebrand themselves as media brands. Read more about how the magazine industry is defining to define its self over at

Written by Jillean Kearney| November 14, 2014
Categories:  Create Great Content
Keywords:  Best of Bo


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