Our view on the ‘How mobile devices are changing community information environments’ report

Posted: March 13, 2011 by jbro88 in News, Opinion
Tags: , , , ,

A couple of weeks ago the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and its Internet & American Life Project released a report entitled: “How mobile devices are changing community information environments.”

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, the centre should consider shorting their name.  I tuned out after Excellence. Anywho, in relation to this little blog the whole shebang is pretty relevant and much of the findings can translate over the Atlantic.

Pew researchers report that “local news is going mobile” as data showed 47% of all  American adults  get at least some local news and information on their mobile device. No doubt many will say this data puts the future of local newspaper in further danger (unless of course they choose to pack up the print publication and go completely online).

BUT HOLD THAT THOUGHT.

The research is a tad misleading. Apparently in the world of Pew’s Research Center for yaddayaddayadda ‘community information’ does not necessarily mean news. In fact news can mean checking the weather forecast.

Hard hitting news? No. Most people are looking for the weather forecast.

Hard hitting news? No. Most people are looking for the weather forecast.

“What they seek out most on mobile platforms,” Pew found, “is information that is practical and in real time: 42 percent . . . report getting weather updates.”

With the UK’s fickle weather conditions it’s likely a UK report would show similar findings.

Other things people searched for were – restaurant reviews for the local area and regional sports results, though 30% of folks do occasionally check up for information about crime, community events, schools and education, politics and cultural events and social services.

What is the whooshing sound? The wind? Oh no, it’s local newspaper editors breathing a sigh of relief.

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