Reese Felts Digital News Project launches political website created for mobile interfaceThe UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Reese Felts Digital News Project launched the mobile-first website, WhichWayNC.com, on June 4. The site covers politics in North Carolina during a year in which the state has drawn national attention as a political battleground and the host of the Democratic National Convention.
As the field of journalism adapts to innovations in technology and the emerging trend of two-way communication, WhichWayNC experiments with creating mobile-optimized content and attracting users through that optimization.
“In the age of digital media, it is necessary that the school stays ahead of the emerging trends in journalism and technology,” said Dean Susan King. “This project exemplifies how our students are eager to take the initiative and push both the school and the industry forward.”
The smart phone serves as a personal device and a mass communication device. By taking advantage of this dual function, the project hopes to examine users’ consumption and sharing patterns with mobile content.
“Of course, there are limitations and challenges in creating content for a mobile interface,” said John Clark, executive producer of Reese News. “We want to examine how users engage with news on a mobile phone to open up limitless possibilities in digital media.”
The Reese Felts Digital Newsroom launched reesenews.org in November 2010 with funding from a $4.1million estate gift from UNC alumnus Reese Felts. Student journalists working in the newsroom are encouraged to take risks and explore experimental approaches that employ the full spectrum of text, photo, video, games and mobile technology to report and engage audiences.