iPhone – the saviour of journalism

Inspired by the thoughts of blogger Soilman, my post on Why journalism may become software development struck a chord with a few readers.

I’m now pleased to say it seems to be coming true (though not because of me, you understand).

Media Industry Newsletter web site Min Online suggests 5 online content models worth watching – among them one that seems to work precisely because it tries to hide the fact that it’s an online magazine.  

One of the smartest things People did with its $1.99 iPhone app is not to call it a mobile magazine. 

But the Min site argues that’s exactly what it is – though “the ‘Tracker’ label gives it the patina of utility”.

Whether people will be prepared to pay hard cash for just a “patina” of utility once the shiny, shiny iPhone buzz wears off is another matter. But this clearly points the way forward for content if you want people to shell out for it. 

Maybe the key thing is to focus on making it really useful. (It also doesn’t hurt that the platform has a captive audience and proprietary barriers to entry…)

[HT: Bristol Editor]



Filed under Journalism

2 responses to “iPhone – the saviour of journalism

  1. I see the iPhone as possibly revolutionary in backpack journalism, because it can take the place of everything else in a reporter’s backpack, particularly now that it offers video. MizzU is now requiring incoming J-school students to have an iPhone or an iTouch. Do you see it actually becoming the go-to tool for reporters?

    • Well, that’s a different angle from the post – but you know, I think you’re right. I haven’t used an iPhone, but the combination of web-enabled smartphone with voice and video recording, decent camera, software apps to let you do number-crunching and analysis etc pretty much gives you a newsroom in your pocket. The key is to be able to do something useful and interesting with it, which is another story.

      Very interesting that such gadgets are becoming de rigeur at college. I checked out the Missouri University J-School, and it seems journalism students have been involved in a competition to develop – yes! iPhone apps! Worthy of more coverage, given my previous posts, so thanks for the heads up…

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