UNC’s Reese News Lab releases e-book with lessons on ‘mobile-first’ journalism
The UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Reese News Lab, an experimental news and research project, published the e-book “News on the go: Field notes on storytelling for mobile devices.”
The book, edited by the lab’s senior producer, Sara Peach, offers tips on how journalists can produce engaging content for mobile users. It is available for download for $4.99 at reesenewslab.org/news-on-the-go.
According to an April 2012 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, nearly one in five Americans mostly access the Internet using a phone, not a computer. As Americans adopt mobile devices — smart phones and tablets — newsgathering is undergoing a transformation.
In June 2012, the Reese News Lab staff — a team of designers, programmers and journalists — launched WhichWayNC.com, a “mobile-first” project focused on North Carolina politics, to explore how this trend could affect journalism.
Their experiences in developing news content for mobile devices form the basis of “News on the go.” Its chapters, which are arranged thematically, include lessons about the following topics and more:
- Adapting graphics and videos for a smaller, mobile screen
- Writing strong headlines and focused stories to attract and retain readers
- Developing and designing interactive tools for the mobile user
- Fostering an innovative newsroom
“We need to make sure we’re accommodating today’s news consumers,” Peach said. “We hope this book will guide journalists as they adapt their storytelling for mobile platforms.”
About WhichWayNC (WhichWayNC.com):
WhichWayNC was launched in the summer of 2012 as a mobile-first project focusing on political issues important to North Carolinians. The state has become a political battleground – a place characterized by a tug-of-war between tradition and progression. WhichWayNC takes an experimental look into this transitional period while pioneering content for mobile devices.
About the Reese News Lab (ReeseNews.org):
The Reese News Lab is a student-run news and research project based in the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The lab was established in 2010 with a gift from UNC alumnus Reese Felts. Its mission is to create engaging content while pushing past the boundaries of traditional media and embracing the risks of experimentation.
About Sara Peach:
In addition to serving as senior producer at the Reese News Lab, Peach works as a freelance journalist for a variety of digital publications. She has won awards from the National Press Photographers Association, Pictures of the Year International and the Society of Environmental Journalists. She lives in Carrboro, N.C.