Mobile journalism and wearable technology will be essential in future reporting, according to one academic.
Associate Professor Mike McKean of the University of Missouri’s Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) told Macleay College journalism students smartphones were already vital reporting tools.
“Mobile is not the future of journalism, it’s the present of journalism,” Prof McKean said during the Skype lecture.
“We’ve already reached that tipping point where more people, in most countries, are accessing the internet through their mobile devices than they are through their desktop or laptop.”
Prof McKean said recent developments in mobile technology had allowed a quality of reporting previously unachievable without specialised audiovisual equipment.
He believes that despite the failure of the Google Glass project, wearable technologies such as the Apple Watch are “the future of journalism”.
“Once we all get to use them, I think there are going to be some interesting journalistic applications for the Watch,” Prof McKean said, citing the New York Times‘ upcoming Watch app, which will provide users with one-sentence headlines that they can then investigate further using their smartphones.
The RJI Futures Lab, of which Prof McKean is the director, is already investigating ways the Watch and other wearables can be used for storytelling. “We’re going to see if there’s a way to use this technology to get people to tap into the stories that we produce.”
Other areas addressed in the lecture included analytics, data journalism and the return of long-form features. – Jake Nelson
Top photo by Mohammad Rassawala.