In this week’s episode, we offer ideas for how local news outlets can take advantage of the emerging “second screen” experience. We also present a few changes to newsgathering in light of the mass adoption of smartphones.

PART 1: Integrating the second screen into TV news

According to Nielsen, 40 percent of tablet and smartphone owners use their devices while watching television every day, and 85 percent of owners do so at least once a month. In our report, we hear about the second screen experience and what it means for local news.

One of the many start-ups in the second-screen space is AudioTag, which enables a station to have content related to a TV or radio program pop up on a users’ cell phones in sync with the broadcast.

Additional information:

It is no longer a question of whether or not people use a second screen but rather what they are doing with it.

A successful second-screen app hinges on an engaged community, a great user experience and value-added content. Social feeds, such as Twitter streams, will be a feature, but are not the entire potential experience. Users want to control, learn about and enhance segments as they play on the big screen.

One app highlighted at the NAB Show 2nd Screen Sunday was the Major League Baseball At Bat App, which had more than 6 million launches during opening week this spring.

FoxNow was another highlighted app. It allows users to watch full episodes, interact with other show fans and see additional show-related content. Fox Now has created partnerships with third party apps like NextGuide and ConnecTV to expand its reach by syndicating its official metadata and content to promote a quality branded experience.

For a detailed overview of the current state of second screen technology and thinking, read this update from Chuck Parker, chairman of the 2nd Screen Society.

(The update follows Parker’s original predictions for 2013 posted in December.)

To see the stream of Tweets from 2nd Screen Sunday, check out this Storify by Mo Krochmal of Social TV Daily.

The official NAB Show website includes live streaming video from the event, as well as daily recaps.

Additional coverage of the NAB show is available from Connect 2 Media & Entertainment and The Hollywood Reporter, among other news outlets.

PART 2: Live mobile video on-air

Getting live mobile video directly on air could quicken video newsgathering and enable TV newsrooms to collaborate even more with citizen journalists during breaking news situations. We spoke with Michel Bais, managing director at Mobile Viewpoint, the creator of" target="_blank">WMT Live. Their system enables live streaming of smartphone video into a TV broadcast.

A few other tools that facilitate mobile video sharing include Qik, Flixwagon, and Ustream.

PART 3: The mobile-first newsroom

Several organizations are moving beyond Web-first publishing to think about mobile as the primary platform for delivery of content. Screen size is one big difference. Another is the use of mobile devices in between other activities, calling for information that can be consumed in small bits. Damon Kiesow (@dkiesow), senior product manager at the Boston Globe; David Cohn, founding editor of mobile news app Circa; and Clyde Bentley, associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism, share their insights.

Additional information about mobile-first thinking:

Uncle Sam Wants You (to Optimize Your Content for Mobile): Author and user-experience expert Karen McCrane makes the case for putting mobile content delivery first, arguing that for the fast-growing segment of the American population that accesses the Web only via mobile, “if your content doesn’t exist on a mobile screen, it doesn’t exist at all.” She also offers specific recommendations for getting content ready for mobile devices in this article.

Mobile First: How ESPN Delivers to the Best Available Screen: “In many ways, the smartphone is a unique execution, because people are using it first for their most mission critical task... But in a pinch, they’ll use it for anything."

Information about native mobile apps and responsive design:

HTML5 Vs. Native Mobile Apps: Myths and Misconceptions (Forbes magazine)

HTML5 v native apps: key considerations for your mobile strategy (The Guardian)

Reuben Stern  
Director of NYC Partnerships


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MU | Missouri School of Journalism | University of Missouri