By : Adreana Young, Source : editorandpublisher.com
For the next two years, a small team based in The Guardian US newsroom in New York City will eat, breathe and think mobile. The Guardian News & Media has created an innovation lab focused on developing better ways to deliver the news on mobile devices.
According to director of philanthropic and strategic partnerships for The Guardian Rachel White, the project will be editorially driven. They’re not focused on finding ways to monetize mobile yet or create a cool new app, she said, rather, the team will look to crack mobile. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has already contributed $2.6 million to support the news organization’s research. White said they are currently focused on forming the mobile team and will hold workshops in September or October to finalize the group. The team will consist of six to eight people including an editor, reporters, designers and developers. White said finding the right people for the team is one of their greatest challenges, in particular, finding the right developers because they are competing with companies like Facebook. The team will create original content and will also have access to The Guardian’s stories to explore mobile storytelling. They hope to create engaging ways for people to consume the news on mobile devices as usage increases. Another challenge is the geography. Although The Guardian is a global news outlet, its production side has historically been based at its London headquarters. “It’s going to be culture shift for us putting something so substantial somewhere other than our London newsroom,” White said. However, she said it was important for the organization to place the new mobile lab at its U.S. newsroom to continue growing as a global company. “The Guardian US team is much smaller,” White said. “It’s more of an incubator (environment).” The team plans to share results from the mobile research efforts with the industry through a blog on The Guardian website. White said having an open door and sharing their findings is one of the most important aspects of the project and part of the fabric of their newsroom. “If The Guardian is the last standing media organization that’s independent, we won’t be in a good position” she said. “We need everyone around us. It’s one of our great strengths. We’ve always been for open platforms.” For more information, visit guardianlabs.theguardian.com.