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The Future – a Question of Time and Place: Mobile Journalism and Localized News. Extended Abstract – Mobile Communication Interest Group

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The Future – a Question of Time and Place: Mobile Journalism and Localized News. Extended Abstract – Mobile Communication Interest Group

Abstract

The importance of mobile media in communication processes is more certain than ever considering past years’ developments (Goggin, 2010; Heinemann, 2014; Nayak, 2016). Its relevance is also evident for journalism: “many people have shifted the ways they access the news in everyday life, with mobile devices gaining much significance” (Westlund & Färdigh, 2014). At the same time, location based services (LBS) can be seen as “one of the biggest advancements in mobile technology” (Schmitz Weiss, 2013). The term LBS here refers to applications that generate value through geolocalization (Masters, 2014). To integrate LBS into production and use of mobile news will offer new opportunities that are worth further investigating. This paper adopts two perspectives: news organizations on the one, news media users on the other hand. Given that, we will explore if and how legacy media incorporates geo-localization features in mobile news offers. Additionally, this study investigates how young adults access news and use location based services on their smartphones.
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The$Future$–$a$Question$of$Time$and$Place:$$
Mobile$Journalism$and$Localized$News.$
Extended!Abstract!!Mobile!Communication!Interest!Group!
1. Introduction:-Mobile-news-and-location-based-services-
The!importance!of!mobile!media!in!communication!processes!is!more!certain!than!ever!considering!
past!years’! developments! (Goggin,! 2010;! Heinemann,! 2014;! Nayak,! 2016).! Its! relevance! is! also!
evident!for!journalism:! many!people!have! shifted!the! ways!they!access!the!news! in! everyday! life,!
with! mobile! devices! gaining! much! significance”! (Westlund! &! Färdigh,! 2014).! At! the! same! time,!
location!based!services!(LBS)!can!be!seen!as!“one!of!the!biggest!advancements!in!mobile!technology”!
(Schmitz! Weiss,! 2013).! The! term! LBS! here! refers! to!applications! th at! generate! value! through! geo-
localization!(Masters,!2014).!To!integrate!LBS!into!production!and!use!of!mobile!news!will!offer!new!
opportunities!that!are!worth!further!investigating.!!
This!paper!adopts!two!perspectives:!news!organizations!on!the!one,!news!media!users!on!the!other!
hand.!Given!that,! we!will!explore!if!and! how!legacy!media!incorporates!geo-localization! features! in!
mobile! news! offers.! Additionally,! this! study! investigates! how! young! adults! access!news! and!use!
location!based!services!on!their!smartphones.!!
Nyre,!Bjørnestad,!Tessem,!and!Øie!(2012)!suppose!a!high!potential!of!GPS-equipped!phones!in!local!
journalism,! and! from! their! point! of! view! the! integration! of! LBS! in! mobile! news! apps! might! allow!
innovative! forms! of! new s! production,! aggregation,! and! presentation! that! again! might! increase! the!
value!of!communication! measured! by! their! recipients.!More!precisely,!the!combination!of! the!two!
technologies!might!enable!a!more!contextual!user!experience!and!an!easier!search!for!news!as!well!
as! an! easier! comprehension! and! visualization! of! local! news”! (Schmitz! Weiss,! 2013).! As! a!recent!
example!showing!several!possibilities,!the!startup!‘otherworld.io’!could!be!mentioned:!They!describe!
themselves!as!a!new!generation!in!local!news”,!while!the!application!facilitates!people!to!share!their!
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stories!in! pilot!areas!around!the! city!of!Manchester!and!deliver!those!news! stories!via! Beacons!and!
Bluetooth!technology!to!the!readers’!smartphones!(Other!world,!2017).! Nevertheless,!the!question!
remains!whether!users!will!perceive!hyper-localization!in!news!(and!advertising)!as!added!value.!!
2. Theoretical-framework:-Diffusion-of-innovations-
There! are! several! theories! examining!innovations.! The! one! applied! in! this! paper!is! the! theory! of!
diffusion! of! innovations.! This!approach! deals! with! “the! process! by! which! an! innovation! is!
communicated!through!certain!channels!over!time!among!the!members!of!a!social!system”!(Rogers,!
1983).! In! this! study,! mobile! new s! applications! with!LBS!features!are! defined!accordingly!to!Rogers!
(1983)! as! the! innovation.!The! advantage! of! using! this! theory! is! that! it! is!as! well! applicable! to! the!
adoption! of! innovations! by! individua ls! (here! the! user!perspective)! as! to! the! process! organizations!
adopt!innovations!(here!the!media!organization!perspective),!and,! not! to! forget,! it!is!a!theory! well!
explored.!Rogers!(2003)!chronicled!a!nearly!uncountable!number!of!studies!conducted!in!the!second!
half! of! 20th!century! and! he! helped! to! create! a! general! diffusion! model! with! wide! applicability!
meanwhile! being!renewed! and! reinvigorated! with! analytic! models!especially! triggered! by! network!
theory!(Valente,!2005,!113).!!
The! individual! adoption! depends! on! five! classic! characteristics! of! innovation! derived! by! Rogers!
(elative!advantage,!compatibility,!complexity,!trialability,!and!observability)!influencing!the!individual!
adoption!process!in!its!stages!of!knowledge,!persuasion,!decision,!implementation! and!confirmation!
(Rogers,!2003).!In!contrast!to!individuals!Rogers!(cf.!1983)!already!in! his!early!works!identified!two!
main!phases!for!adoption!in!organizations:!initiation!and!implementation.!In!summary,!it!is!important!
to!consider!that!the!adoption!of!innovation!is!a!(at!least)!two-step!process!both!for!the!individual,!as!
well!as!for!the!organization.!Applied!to!our!case:!In!a!first!step,!the!consumers!must!use!smartphones!
in! general! and! news! apps! in! particular! before! in! a! second! step,! users! might! try! geo-localization!
features! in! news! apps.! In! regard! to!media! organization,! the! first! step! entails! developing! and!
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publishing! news! apps! in! general! before! LBS-features!can! be! integrated! into! those! offers.! Also,!
individual!adoption!is!highly!dependent!on!the!availability!of!apps!with!certain!LBS!features.!!
3. State-of-research:-LBS-and-mobile-journalism--
In!general,!we!observe!a!high!diffusion!rate!both!in!the! field!of!LBS!and!in! the!field!of! mobile! news!
media.! In!2015,! 90%! of! the!adults! in! the! US!used! location! based! services! on! a! mobile!phone.! The!
European!market!for!LBS!demonstrated!a!strong!growth!in!2016!that!is!supposed!to!continue!for!the!
following!years!(European! Global! Navigation ! Satellite! Systems! Agency,! 2017).! Furthermore,! mobile!
news!statistics!show!that!85%!of!adults!in!the!US!received!news!on!their!mobile!device!at!least!once,!
which!means! a!growth!of!twelve!percent!in! the! last!year!(Lu,!2017).!Older!adults!still!access!online!
news! on!computers,! whereas! younger! prefer! to! receive!news! on! mobile! devices! (Lu,! 2017).!
According! to! Rosenstiel,!Mitchell,!Rainie,! and! Purcell! (2011),! mobile! phone! users! are! younger!and!
more!active!news!consumers!who!seek!for!local!news!with!their!mobile!devices.!
In!Germany!2014,!49%!of!legacy!media!organizations!provided!some!kind!of!mobile!news!app!(mainly!
containing!text! and! only! few! multimedia! elements),! and! over! 40%! of! these! identified! publishers!
merely!transfer!the!content!of!their!newspapers!into!the!app!word!for!word!(Wolf,!2014).!In!light!of!
these!findings,!it!seems!rather!unlikely!for!German!publishers!to!incorporate!innovative!ways!of!geo-!
localization!features!in!their!news!apps.!!
The!field!of!research!that!explores!the!connection!between!local!journalism!and!mobile!news!can!be!
opened!by!investigating!the!keywords!‘Locative!Journalism’!or!‘Spatial!Journalism’.!Journalism!of!that!
emergent”! kind! could! be! understood! as! one! that! incorporates! a! place,! space,! and/or! location!
(physical,!augmented!and!virtual)!into!the!process!and!practice!of!journalism“!(Schmitz!Weiss,!2014).!
Westlund!(2013)!refers!to! locative! news!as!an! important! area! of! innovation!for!news!publishers”;!
Nyre! and! colleagues! (2012)!discuss! locative! journalism! as! a! chance! for! local! newspapers!that! are!
struggling!economically:!localization!can!strengthen!the!local!focus! and!the!communication!with!the!
local!community!as!a!key!asset!of!local!news!organizations.!From!the!user!perspective,!locative!news!
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are!experienced!as!more!interesting!and!informative;!especially!news!within!a!radius!of!0-100m!from!
the!geo-position!of!the!reader!were!appreciated!(Øie,!2012).!“Locative!news!is!surely! a!new!way!of!
marshalling,! mediating,! and! making! sense! of! place;! evidenced! in! the! new! kinds! of! information!
created!through!projects!of!emplacement!and!by! the! movement! in! and! through! places! by! objects,!
technologies,!and!users”!(Goggin,!Martin,!&! Dwyer,! 2014).! Nyre!and!colleagues!(2012)!resume!that!
from! the! technical! side! it! is! easy! to! design ! a!medium! that! affords! location-dependent!journalism.!
From! the! content! side!on! the! other! hand!it!is!“very! difficult”! to! establish! a! new! writing! practice!
among! journalists! to! exploit! the! new! possibilities.! From! that! point! of! view,! we! can! expect! a! slow!
diffusion!rate!of!LBS!in!local!journalism.!One! contribution! that!actually!focuses! on! the! diffusion! of!
location!based!services!in!the!field!of!journalism!is!by!Schmitz!Weiss!(2013).!For!one,!the!study!shows!
that!90%! of!young!adults!use!LBS!on!their!smartphone!and!92%!use!their!smartphone!for!news!and!
information!activity.!Also,!the!analysis!of!media!markets!shows!that!geo-location!features!were!only!
used! for! service! purposes,! and! a! connection! between! news! stories! and! locations! did! not! occur.!
Finally,! Schmitz! Weiss!(2013)!identifies! a! gap! between! news! organizations! and! consumers:! Even!
though! we! can! observe! a! high! use! of! location-based! services! by! smartphone! consumers,! media!
organizations! use! geo-location! features! in! their! mobile! apps! only! for! traffic! and! weather.! Legacy!
news! organizations! analyzed!in! this! study! show! that! they! are! failing ! to! keep! up! with!the! demand!
based!on!what!news!consumers,!particularly!young!adults,!are!doing!and!using!on!their!smartphone”!
(Schmitz!Weiss,!2013).!!
We!summarize!that!the!majority!of!contributions!focusing!on! locative! media! was! published! at! the!
beginning!of!the!2010s.!In!addition,!there!are!only!few!publications!that!explore!LBS!in!the!context!of!
news!and!information!media!(Nyre!et!al.,!2012;!Schmitz!Weiss,!2013).!!
The! aim! of! this! paper! is! to! transfer! the! previously! shown!(rare)!findings!to! the! European! media!
market,! more! specifically! the! German! market,! and! into! the! year! 2017.! Thereby! it! is! of! particular!
interest! to! evaluate! how! the! diffusion! of! the! technology! developed! since! Schmitz! Weiss’! study! in!
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2013.! The! authors! propose!the! following! questions,! including! four!concerning!the! side! of!
organizations!and!four!concerning!the!side!of!users:!!
RQ1:% How% many%news% organizations% (newspaper,% television,% and% radio% stations)% in% Germany% offer%
mobile%news%apps?%
RQ2:% Do% those% news% organizations% that% offer% mobile% news% apps% offer% news% with% geo-location%
capability%in%their%mobile%news%apps?%
RQ3:%Are%there%any%other%mobile%news%apps%available%on%the%German%market%that%offer%location%based%
services%in%combination%with%news?%
RQ4:( In% case% there% are% news% apps% with% geo-localization% features:% How% do% mobile!news% apps%
incorporate%these%features?!
Based! on! the! literature! that! discusses!the! use! of!smartphones,! mobile! news,! and! location! based!
services,! we! decided! to! focus! our! research! on! the! younger! demographic! in! ord er! to! receive! more!
informative! and! applicable! results.! In! regard! to! the!user!perspective,! we! present! the! following!
research!questions:!
RQ5:%What%kind%of%news%and%information%services%do%young%adults%use%on%their%mobile%phones?%
RQ6:%What%kind%of%location%based%service%applications%do%young%adults%use%on%their%mobile%phones?%
RQ7:% Are% there% young% adults% who% use% apps% that% combine% mobile% news% and% location% based% service%
features?%
RQ8:!What%relevance%and%value%do%young%adults%attach%to%local%news?!
We!will!examine!these!questions!by!using!the!research!and!analysis!design!described!in!the!following!
section.!
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4. Method-of-choice:-A-combination-of-content-analysis-and-quantitative-online-
survey-
For!the!purpose!of!exploring!both!the!side!of!the!user!and!the!side!of!media!organizations,!we!chose!
to!combine!a! quantitative!online!survey!and!quantitative!content!analysis.!The!research!design! was!
designed!after!the!approach!of!Schmitz!Weiss!(2013).!!
Content(Analysis(of(the(German(market(for(mobile(news(apps(
In!order!to!investigate!RQ1-RQ4,!as!a! first!step!we! will!conduct!a!quantitative! content!analysis.!We!
chose!a!census!of!all!news!organizations!to!depict!the!German!media!system!appropriately.!Based!on!
the!database!of!the!German!Commission!on!Concentration!in!the!Media!(KEK)!(2017),!there!are!511!
national,! regional,! and! local! newspapers! published! in! Germany.! Additionally,!there! are! 78! public!
services!radio!stations,!275!regional!and!local!radio!stations!owned!by!private!organization,!as!well!as!
86!community!radio!stations!and!‘open!channels’.!The!television!broadcasting!stations!count!as!133!
national!free!TV!channels,!of!which!31!are!held!by!public!broadcasting.!In!addition,!Germany!has!148!
privately!owned!and!36!public!regional!and!local!TV!stations.!We!will!examine!whether!these!media!
publishers!offer!mobile!news!apps.!!
In!a!second!step,!all!mobile!news!apps!identified!will!be!examined!for!their!integration!of!localization!
features.!Thereby!it! is!of!particular!interest!how!geo-locations! are! incorporated,! especially! in!which!
area!of!news!this!occurred!and!in!relation!to!which!content.!Furthermore,!we! will!evaluate!whether!
the! use! of! LBS! in! news! is! connected! to! new! forms! of! narratives! (Øie,! 2016)!and! what!ways! of!
representation!are!used!(Schmitz!Weiss,!2013).!!
Quantitative(online(survey(of(young(adults(
RQ5! –! RQ8!refer! to! the! diffusion! of! LBS! and! mobile! news!on! the! part! of! the! users.! Therefore,! a!
quantitative!online! survey!was!chosen!as! the!data!collection!method.!The!aimed!sample!size! is!n!=!
400;! we! also! aim! to! examine! the! varying!the! levels! of! formal! education! and! income! among! the!
participants.!In!the!survey,!young!adults!between!18!and!35!years!will!be!asked!about!their!habits!in!
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regard! to!news! and! information! activities! with! mobile! apps.! Furthermore,! the! participants! will! be!
asked!which!kind!of!location!based!services!they!use!and!how!often!they!use!them.!The! survey!also!
contains!questions!to!determine!whether!young!adults!are!interested!in!local!news,!since!this!kind!of!
news! is! most! likely! to! incorporate!geo-localization! (Nyre! et! al.,! 2012).! Finally,!those! polled! will! be!
asked!whether!they!know!or!use!any!news!app!with!localization!features.!The!data!collection!will!be!
completed!by!mid-December.!!
Given!a!high!diffusion!rate!of!geo-localized!applications!and!an!exalted!usage!of!mobile!news!media!
in!the!selected!population,!we!expect!useful!findings!to!inspire!future!research!–!and!we!will!be!able!
to!transfer!current!approaches!to!one!of!the!most!dynamic!media!markets!of!the!western!world,!
ideally!generating!strategical!implications!for!any!user-centered!approach!to!mobile!news!production!
and!coverage!serving!local!communities.!!
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Legacy news media have invested substantially in developing digital and mobile news provisioning, alongside the widespread diffusion of information and communication technologies. Amid these developments, many people have shifted the ways they access the news in everyday life, with mobile devices gaining much significance. This has shifted the roles traditionally played by newspapers, television stations, radio broadcasters and news sites, ultimately relating to their democratic functions and the diminishing effect of their business models. This article will describe and explain displacing vis-à-vis complementary effects among age cohorts. It shows how the recent uptake of mobile devices has influenced news consumption via newspapers and news sites. It investigates three research questions, each focusing age cohorts in relation to single-media use, cross-media use, and nonuse. The article presents a statistical analysis of datasets nationally representative to Sweden and the specific case of evening tabloids. The data used originate from scientific omnibus survey projects conducted annually from 1986 to 2012 at the University of Gothenburg. The findings show that the public generally engage in single-media rather than cross-media news consumption, whereas age cohorts have developed divergent forms of single-media use: (a) the 1930s and 1940s age cohort are primarily single-media users in print, (b) the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s age cohorts are computer-oriented single-media users; and (c) the 1980s and 1990s age cohorts are mainly single-media users via mobile devices, but also cross-media users of mobile devices combined with a computer. As of 2012, the uptake of mobile news and cross-media news consumption reached new records, whereas the single-media use of printed newspapers reached a new low. The integrated theoretical framework proves useful for comprehending such transforming news consumption among age cohorts, and reveals the significance for legacy news media to explore and exploit the opportunities arising from mobile devices and tablets.
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Location, locality, and localism have long been important characteristics of news, but their functions have been given a dramatic twist with the advent of locative, mobile media. The capabilities of mobile media devices to determine, sense, incorporate, and conjure with the relative locations of reporting and audiences have emerged as key to alternative, small- and large-scale networked news-gathering and dissemination ventures. This paper explores the kinds of places and spaces these mobile worlds of news-making and consumption entail—and how news is being located in and through such new mobilities.
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This study investigates how information and geographic space can be connected to a concept called place-based knowledge that can be applied within a journalistic framework of how we see journalism practice, news producers, consumers, and the news experience within this light. This connection of geographic space with place-based knowledge can form a unique concept called spatial journalism that is the main premise of this article. Future research directions are explored using this concept and implications of this approach are discussed for the future of the academy and profession.
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This study investigates how young adults use news and location-based services on their smartphones, in addition to examining how many news organizations offer mobile news apps with geo-location features. Based on the survey findings, young adults are consuming news on their smartphones. Furthermore, there is a high use of location-based services by smartphone consumers, but news organizations are only using geo-location features in their mobile apps for traffic and weather. This study highlights that a gap exists between what news consumers, particularly young adults, are doing and using on their smartphones and what news organizations are able to provide.