More than half of mobile news consumers are using their devices daily to keep abreast of the news, a study shows. And they’re more than happy to tell you why and what they’re viewing.
Jacqueline Soteropoulos Incollingo, assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism at Rider University, examined the habits, practices, and desires of the mobile news users in a major metropolitan newspaper company on the East Coast.
The author first conducted an online quantitative survey of the newspaper’s 632 digital subscribers. Later, qualitative telephone interviews with 30 users were conducted to provide additional information, context, and the users’ voices.
Results showed that about 56 percent daily read “in-depth articles” on a range of mobile devices.
Around half of the readers used tablets to check headlines daily. Another 35 percent used tablets to read in-depth articles.
On smartphones, 48 percent of the participants checked headlines daily, while 21 percent read in-depth articles.
Readers also said that mobile content from was useful (relating to notions of surveillance — a theory that news consumption is related to our need to monitor our world), entertaining, enjoyable, convenient and accessible. Participants also noted the conversational value which was reflected in their self-reported desire to discuss the content after consuming it.
Surveillance remains a prominent need among most of mobile news readers. An 81-year-old retired nurse who is a digital-only consumer via her tablet said, “I read the newspaper every day via a tablet. … I just like to keep up on the news—what’s going on locally as well as in the world.”
Readers also cited the convenience of digital access to news via mobile devices as one of the central aspects of their news use on tablets or smartphones. This convenience also led them to be more deeply engaged with news and consume more news. A reader using his tablet to get news said, “I love the convenience of it. I love how it’s updated… I’m not sitting down at my desk. I can sit in my living room, I can sit in my garden, I can read it anywhere.”
To read the full text of the study: https://bit.ly/2EAK5DR
Incollingo, J. S. (2018). “I’m a news junkie… I like being informed”: Mobile news use by a newspaper’s digital subscribers. Newspaper Research Journal, 39(2), 134-144.
From Users to Creators On the other side of the mobile devices are journalists. Gregory Perreault of the Department of Communication at Appalachian State University and Kellie Stanﬁeld of the Department of Communication Arts at Salisbury University studied how mobile journalists articulate their role within the broader journalistic ﬁeld. Researchers conducted an online survey with 39 mobile journalists in six countries: the United States, Australia, Germany, Spain, Argentina, and the Netherlands.
The authors found that journalists were motivated to do mobile because it includes “a combination of better storytelling, ability to share information easily across platforms, working remotely.” They also saw mobile as a role that lent itself toward “community and breaking news reporters” as well as sports reporters. A journalist said the role of mobile journalists required them to “know how to be ﬂexible and work from the ﬁeld as needed.”
But this role is often seen as “burden” because perhaps it requires newsrooms to “modify the workﬂow to adapt it to the new habits of consumption.”
Journalists also said three factors—personal, environmental, and audience motivations—inﬂuenced the use of mobile journalism. A journalist said mobile journalism helped him stay up to date and be faster and better than others. “I am able to do my own thing and to publish stories others can’t realize.”
Journalists also considered audience need while doing mobile journalism. A journalist said, “My audience is varied. I’ve looked at data on my stories and I hit a big 18–35 audience, but in the evening my stories do really well with Boomers. People seem to interact more with my stories when they ﬁnd them via social media, so I tend to get a younger, female audience during the day.”
To read the full text of the study: https://bit.ly/2UmkPtU
Perreault, G., & Stanfield, K. (2018). Mobile Journalism as Lifestyle Journalism? Field Theory in the integration of mobile in the newsroom and mobile journalist role conception. Journalism Practice, 13(3), 331-348.