State of the News Media: Mobile

Posted by Christy Wittmer

What consumers want on their mobile device. That was the one of the focuses of the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s annual State of the News Media. The study showed that there is a desire for needs to be fulfilled on our mobile devices in the areas of local information.

We want to know things like weather and businesses, and we want the information at our fingertips without the searching. We want apps that can give it to us in a pinch.


Photo from British Airways via Flickr

Smart phones have become a commodity, and the community of users is growing. In general, half of all American adults report they get at least some local news from their cellphone or tablet computer.

Here are a few sample finding on the mobile local news consumers: 65 percent feel it is easier today than 5 years ago to keep up with the information about their community, 51 percent use six or more different sources or platforms monthly for their local news, and 75 percent use social network sites.

The Pew survey broke down the categories of new and information most used on mobile devices. Weather was the highest at 42 percent, local restaurants/businesses were second at 37 percent. The least searched was local news  and information apps. The site also listed a complete demographic breakdown looking at categories like gender, education, and age.

This shift in concentration onto mobile media has brought the growth of apps and how we get our daily information on the go, no surprise. This is presenting new revenue options for news organizations. Their hope is for the interest in local apps to become more popular, where it would be something consumers wouldn't mind paying a little to get. The need to be informed quickly, and the desire to know first are things this hope is fueled by.

The shift didn't come as a surprise to me. I fall into the category of a mobile junky. I purchased my first smart phone late last year. It's convenient to surf the web, check the main and keep in touch on my social media sites while on the go. But the overall simplicity of being informed has not gone unnoticed. I have an app for my local newspaper, local weather, and local community deals.

Are you on the bandwagon?



7 responses to “State of the News Media: Mobile

  1. I’m definitely addicted to my mobile device. I’m on that thing constantly–usually checking emails, favorited websites, etc. I’m probably on it more than I am my laptop. Surprisingly, I don’t use it very often for texting or calling. Go figure.

  2. Kelly Hendricks

    I am without a doubt on the bandwagon. I am highly addicted to my phone, a blackberry. I always said I didn’t need a phone with all the different applications but know that I have one, I don’t know how I survived before without it. I’m constantly on the internet, going through email and checking the weather on my smartphone. I’d have withdrawals without it!

  3. I WISH I could be on the bandwagon. I got my latest phone right before smartphones got so big last year, and I really can’t wait until I get my upgrade next year. Right now, I have to use my laptop to stay up-to-date on all of my emails and social media sites, but it would be great if I could just have the power to do all of that from my phone.
    I do worry, however, that widespread popularity of smartphones could lead to a decreased desire for actual face-to-face human communication. Who needs it when apps can give you everything?

  4. I got a new cell phone for my birthday last August, and I didn’t choose a smartphone because they are expensive. I just didn’t want to pay the online service. Yes, it would be convenient to receive my emails on my phone. Some are timely enough that they need to have a response quickly. However, I realize that I cannot be “working” all the time. For me it’s nice I don’t have a smartphone because I’m not plugged in all the time. Fortunately, I don’t think face-to-face contact will become obsolete. I prefer to communicate with people in person.

  5. I think the rising prevalence of smart phones has not only made people more informed, but has also caused an increase in so-called “citizen journalists.” With so much technology at our fingertips, there has never been an easier time to read and report the news.

  6. I have hardly any apps on my phone. I think it’s an area of trouble for me in figuring them out on my blackberry. The only one I actually have is facebook and even then I don’t use it as much as I actually use facebook on my computer. I think if I had an I-phone I would be more into apps.

  7. I have been through an obscene amount of iPhones. In fact, you will see me trying to text with a cracked screen after our test today!

    I use the apps/email/Internet functions on my iPhone constantly, not only for entertainment but for work, job hunting, school, etc. I think I am driving the bandwagon that you guys all jumped on. Seriously, I am addicted.

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