Thursday, October 17, 2013

4 ways to make a more mobile-centered newsroom

A panoramic delight of the "20 ways" session. 

You need to be more mobile. 

Here are four quick tips from former NYT editor Fiona Spruill, as heard in the Online News Association discussion, "20 ways to turbocharge your mobile efforts (before it's too late):"

1. Live like your audience. Read your news on your smartphone and tablet. 

My take: Tell your kids to put their cell phones away, but pick up yours more. If you don't like reading the news on your phone, ask yourself why not. And then come up with a solution. A mobile one. 

2. Take advantage of big news events as catalysts to try new mobile things. When news is breaking, journalists tend to be more exploratory and less hesitant. 

My take: This means you. No matter your beat. 

3. Build designated teams to focus on mobile presentation. Even small newsrooms can create temporary teams for a single project to really hash out its mobile presentation.

My take: For your next big or exciting project, recruit an editor, designer, web developer and maybe even fellow reporter to sit down and answer the question: How should this look on my smartphone? 

4. Be mobile-first when planning. This includes redesigns. The mobile design should not be a second thought. 

My take: Start your daily meetings by first asking reporters what they have planned for the web. Prominently display your webpage and app activity on screens in the newsroom. Then and only then consider how that might appear in the paper edition.  

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