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EXPERT AVAILABLE: Deadline Looms for Mobile Newspaper Adaptation, MU Expert Says

Journalism professor has developed timeline to help newspapers with transition

May 7th, 2012

Story Contact: Nathan Hurst, 573-882-6217, hurstn@missouri.edu

The views and opinions expressed in this “for expert comment” release are based on research and/or opinions of the researcher(s) and/or faculty member(s) and do not reflect the University’s official stance.

COLUMBIA, Mo. ­— In 2010, Gartner, Inc., a leading information technology research and advisory company, predicted that by 2013, mobile phones would overtake PCs as the most common Internet access device worldwide. Clyde Bentley, an associate professor of print and digital news at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, is urging newspapers to adapt to the changing technology.

To help newspapers and other media organizations transition from computer-based Internet content to mobile phone-compatible content, Bentley has revisited a timeline he developed two years ago to assure mobile viability by the 2013 deadline.

“The newspaper industry needs to transition from the traditional Internet to the mobile Internet – from 17-inch displays on computer monitors to 3-inch displays on smartphones,” Bentley said. “If Gartner’s prediction is accurate, newspapers only have a few months to finish positioning themselves as the leading news content provider for mobile platforms.”

Bentley’s timeline covers several steps including designating mobile editors in the newsrooms and equipping reporters with phones that can capture images, videos and sounds. By following his timeline, Bentley believes newspapers can take the lead as the top news source for mobile devices before the 2013 deadline.

“It is a challenging, but doable schedule,” Bentley said. “Smartphones and tablets have been adopted by the public at a much faster pace than I originally anticipated. I initially feared that newspapers would not take mobile news seriously, but advertising departments have helped to push the transition. Ad people already realize that ‘mobile’ is where the money is. For example, smartphones now have scanners to check prices, QR codes that substitute for coupons, cameras that check selections, and applications that can review every product under the sun. The mobile phone is the shopper’s best friend. Mobile is local and is used to shop on Main Street. Newspaper advertising departments can take advantage of this.”

Bentley believes the mobile trend will be beneficial for newspapers because it will make the news easier to access.

To view Bentley’s entire timeline visit: http://rjionline.org/blog/road-2013-timeline-newspapers

 

 

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