Mobile apps are dominating how we get information in 2015. Ten years ago, this type of technology that alerts the public and changes how we interact had not even existed. Modern technology has not only transformed the way we interact with the public, but it has also transformed the way we get news. Traditional media, a dominate industry throughout time, has a demand that is decreasing due to mobile apps. Does this mean that traditional news will eventually become extinct? It may not mean extinction but it will mean a high level of transformation that will eventually impact typical journalism professions and increase the spread of democracy through this revolutionary technology.
What do we mean by mobile apps? Mobile apps are downloadable software programs that can be accessed through mobile devices. This can be anything from social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, to news apps like the Washington Post. Apps are empowering the way we consume information due to varies amounts of reasons. They are also making it available for the public to share their own stories that one doesn’t get from traditional broadcast. Below is a list of reasons why mobile apps are transforming todays society and the way we consume news.
Mobile apps, hence the name, gives consumers the convenience of mobility. Instead of tuning into the five o’ clock news, consumers can reach into their pockets no matter where the location is to find out what is going on in the world. We have the ability to get information no matter where we are located. Instead of carrying around a TV, which is very unlikely, or a bulky laptop, users can pull out phones to access the news. This could be an advantage in terms of the weather. Today people would rather check their phones to see if it is going to rain, versus watching the morning news. The advantage is most weather apps gives you the current location you are in right then, rather than a traditional broadcast just giving you the areas forecast that may not be accurate.
Basic cable is often supplied by providers that increasingly charge you for unsatisfied service and channels. Mobile apps gives you multiple options to choose from that are at low cost or more than likely free. The truth is consumers do not want to pay for news. With wifi connection, users can download free apps and get access to current events. Another advantage regarding affordability with mobile apps is the principle of net neutrality. Net neutrality is the consumer advantage that Internet providers do not discriminated against other data. An example of net neutrality can been seen when Comcast, a provider, does not block services or charges extra to consumers for viewing competing networks. This has been an ongoing debate in the United States on wether net neutrality is right or wrong. With mobile-apps, consumers can view the news without being impacted by services charging more because accessing information through wifi.
Ability to choose
Viewing news through the television provides users with only a number of options. Instead of a few channels, mobile apps are unlimited because of the abundance amount of shelf space. Traditional broadcast is also seen as boring and non relatable in some cases. With everything scripted in traditional news, this usually tunes the viewer out due to the non realism that news stations show. Mobile-news apps makes it where you can download any source you desire. Most news apps even give you the option of viewing what you want to know right away, other than waiting on other stories to pass that you do not really care about. Another advantage of news apps is limited amount of advertisements. Instead of watching numerous amounts of ads pass by, news apps generally give you a limited number of ads before jumping into what you want to view.
Also, mobile-news apps gives the the option of choosing non -biased mediums for viewership. Though most sources are biased, even specific mobile-news apps, there is a higher chance of finding a neutral source when using a mobile device versus tuning into channels on TV.
With mobile apps, viewers have the ability to become interactive through social media. Apps showcase opportunities for viewers to communicate by comments, likes and shares. The opportunity to share your opinion and start a debate is revolutionary. As viewers, we have the right to voice what really matters, and that is crucial for a democracy. Bouncing off storytelling, mobile apps are causing an international revolution that traditional news has never conquered. Citizen journalism, a term that makes anyone a journalist, has promoted change by stirring up protest and riots. In the United States, videos became viral after racist altercation erupted during the Ferguson incident. People began uploading footage of race crime, especially with the law enforcement, that began questioning civil liberties. Egyptians citizens roar after footage was leaked of the protest that challenged the former leader. This incident was known as the Twitter Revolution that ended a 30-year regime. Other social media revolutions can been seen in the world, like the Facebook Revolution following the 2009 Iranian presidential election. Instead of tuning into the news, citizens of the world are able to make the news with mobile apps.
The most innovative service that mobile apps provide is the ability for users to share their own story. September 11 was one of the very first cases of people sharing their own personalize story of what went on. With the convenience of cameras in mobile devices, people can now upload their own footage that could possibly go viral. An example of this can been seen with American journalist Tim Pool who is known for his viral videos during Occupy Wall Street. Pool, who did not receive a college education, produced a live-chat stream that engaged viewers. He also gives viewers the option of directing him on the location he should report what kind of footage he should shoot.
The title and roles of news anchor is being changed to backpack journalist, a term coined to those who report with basic technology in their backpacks, like mobile devices. Backpack journalist, like Pool, are always on the go and shoot live footage that is authentic and raw to viewers. Backpack journalism is also cutting out the traditional market of camera crew and a bulky van of technology. Basically with todays modern technology, anyone can become a storyteller with the camera on your iPhone, downloadable apps like iMovie and Youtube which makes it accessible for anyone to upload or share videos.
Mobile apps are impacting the way we get information on a daily basis. This is part of the technology boom that is occurring all over the world. Mobile apps are opening up doors that have never been discovered. People are sharing stories from any locations and interacting with each other globally.
Todays news age must integrate traditional news with modern news in order for the media to be impacting to viewers. Traditional Broadcast need to not only offer a social media site, but become mobile friendly for consumers. Traditional broadcast is dissolving and mobile apps are picking up the slack with a new innovative age of news. Citizen storytelling is opening up a new job market that did not exist five years ago. We are the storytellers and we are in control of where the news is.
By Tiffany Bishop