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More on the mobile on the rise, and what that means for interactive journalists

October 21, 2010

Mobile Internet use via smartphones and tablet computers is on the rise, and it’s challenging news organizations and journalists to think anew about how they can best reach and engage their audience (see my post from Thursday here).

More proof of that comes from a recent study Morgan Stanley analysts, who predict that mobile Internet use will outgrow desktop use by 2015. Other finds include increasing popularity of “cloud computing” and social web.

Journalists and designers, therefore, have to pay increasing attention to designing their content for use on mobile devices. There, touchscreen interfaces dominate compared to the mouse-led ones on desktops and laptops. Especially for interactive elements, that poses a challenge. In choosing what to learn, aspiring interactive journalists now don’t just have to worry about the whole Flash vs. HTML5 debate, but also about how their newly designed graphics will translate to mobile devices.

To that end, Jeremy Rue has written a great post on the skirmish between Flash and HTML5, posing the question: “What should journalists learn next?”

Not such an easy question, the UC Berkely j-school teacher says.

I’m not really sure how to teach HTML5 to journalists. This is because HTML5 is not what everyone thinks it is. All of the cool stuff that HTML5 can do is really being done by a programming language called JavaScript.

Teaching that to a not mathematically inclined person (i.e. 99 percent of journos) is a challenge. Help, he says, comes in the form of jQuery, a JavaScript library that makes writing the code a bit easier. A group of people are already working on adapting that framework for mobile devices. Considering the trend, that’s good news.

Hat tip to Medill prof Matt Mansfield, who not only celebrated World Statistics Day with me but also alerted me to Rue’s post.

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From → Mobile

One Comment
  1. Similarly, you could make the case that blogging (and really, web development in particular) became much easier once web editors didn’t involve extensive knowledge of HTML (though HTML is a lot easier to learn than Java).

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