This week, online newspapers focuses on mobile, Amazon enriches the Kindle, and ditches pageviews in a new redesign.

Adding Mobile to the Digital Newsroom

It wasn't too long ago that the newspaper industry filled our heads with visions of an all-digital newsroom. In that time since, we’ve covered online news sites going hyper local, integrating third-party applications, even behind the scenes video. This week we can add mobile-specific to that list.

The digital newsroom is evolving and expanding. The Orlando Sentinel, CNN and have each created mobile-specific positions within their newsrooms. As more news organizations follow suit by creating such positions in an effort to make mobile news delivery a priority, Poynter Online investigated a few of the reasons why newsrooms could use at least one mobile go-to person on staff.

  • Mobile visitors have different needs: Having someone to monitor a mobile site’s metrics can help determine what interests readers most and how to adapt the site accordingly.
  • To create a mobile-first mentality: The same thing happened when newspapers started to shift focus from print to web. The web used to be considered a place to put additional information, now it’s often the primary source of information. Yet, the mobile news site is vying for attention. Let’s learn from our mistakes and not ignore the mobile interface until it’s too late.
  • To promote mobile initiatives: Having a key person on staff to educate others about its mobile platform can help streamline communications and help others thinks about how they can contribute to, and help improve it. As we learned (and are still learning) from websites before it, the more integrated people are, the more ownership they take.

Just as newsrooms have evolved from copyeditors and ads salesman to accommodate videographers and bloggers, newsrooms will inevitably have to integrate more mobile-specific positions alongside their web counterparts.

The Enriched Kindle

Last week prices were dramatically cut for Kindle and Nook e-Readers. This week, Amazon is stepping up its game by adding a small batch of books “enriched” by audio and video available only (for the time being) on its suite of apps for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

From travel guides to instructional videos to children’s books, the first thirteen books featured are priced at around $US 9.99 and come with multimedia tailored to each book. For example, the travel guides come with audio walking tours, while others include archival materials, letters, photographs.

MSNBC Redesigns for Advertisers Not Pageviews has a new website and with it brings an end to clicking on stories and on ads. Designed as a single-page-only format, MSNBC hopes to sell large, customizable ads to marketers as it tries to build a larger audience.

The redesign is part of a strategic initiative aimed at diminishing the role that pageviews have in measuring audience usage and engagement to advertisers. On previous versions of the site, MSNBC (and others like it) may have been able to increase page views through features like standalone slideshows, which require users to click to the next page. Instead, slideshows will be integrated into the page.


The redesign features a “social toolbar” at the bottom of each page (see above) for posting stories to Twitter or Facebook as well as e-mail. It also includes options which lets users set up a customizable news trends list in the dashboard view at the bottom of each page.