A recent study by the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism found that nearly half of all American adults now have a mobile connection to the internet through a smart phone or tablet. News organisations have to respond to this growing audience, as the study found that 64% of tablet owners and 62% of mobile phone users access news websites through these devices.
Print journalists can take heart from the fact that the study, which surveyed 10,000 Americans, showed that this audience did not just browse the Twitter for news but also read in depth articles. But crucially the online audience is looking for multi media content.
TV companies are in a unique position to facilitate the development of multi media news websites. ITN Source is responding to this change by providing a web features page which allows its customers to share TV clips easily on their website or through social media. The BBC and SKY provide up-to-date news apps which supplements their TV coverage and also drives users back to their websites.
Viewers now use their smart phones to tell their own news stories in ways which would not have been so accessible 10 years ago. The Experience Project has had more than twenty million entries, each of them as strong and vivid as the best human interest story told on TV.
The Story Corps Project now sends Facebook and Twitter links to their latest recordings and finds most of their contributors through the web. The BBC current affairs programme World Have Your Say closed its blog in favour of finding contributors through Facebook and Twitter.
Mobile phones and tablets are opening up a new audience to media organisations in the UK. But things change so quickly online that it is a constant challenge to keep up ahead of this evolving and interactive audience.
You can see my analysis of the impact of the “Digital Revolution in Media” part 1 here.