Breaking News: TBD

So TBD is cool…we get it.  If you haven’t seen it already, definitely check it out.  It has some pretty interesting ideas for new media and reporting.  The stories are updated throughout the day in various categories including entertainment, sports, commute, weather and news.  This is definitely something to commend them on.  The range of TBD is small, focusing on the DC metro area.  However it does merge with a local ABC station, creating journalistic synergy.  TBD has become a newspaper, website and television station.  Very cool.

However, TBD has gained an obscene amount of attention across the field.  I guess I am just another blogger giving them extra attention, but I genuinely feel the need to express my opinion.  It isn’t negative, it is a legitimate critique.  I do think TBD is doing some great things, I just think more can be done for future projects.

TBD has a small audience, this is their personal focus and great for them.  However, it would be awesome if future projects could reach a broader audience, while honing in on individual needs.

Is the “news” section genuinely newsworthy?  Some stories are interesting, but others seem a better fit for features including Carousel on the National Mall. This story if part of the Examiner’s website, but TBD links to it under their “news” section.  In their defense, I believe their focus is less on news and more on other aspects including entertainment and communities.

TBD definitely focuses on community, which is great for individuals within the DC area.  You can go to TBD for a broad base of news but also check out the “community news” or “county news” sections under “news” for more specific information.  This is a step in the right direction for more specialized news, which I critiqued them on earlier (however I do think we can be broader with our news initially).

TBD also allows readers to interact with their website and stories by adding comments and social media.  This has already been done by most newspapers.  However, readers can type in their location for more specialized stories.  Registered readers can also save their locations and items of interest.

One key concept that TBD has not developed is the concept of citizen journalism.  Therefore, reporters and writers for TBD must be part of their staff.  This means they must go through and interview process and be hired for a position.  This is relatively normal, but it would be great if more news outlets could incorporate more citizen journalists in the process of news.

Overall, this is a new project, a step forward and something I will be interested in following.

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Media meets the iPad

My boyfriend recently received and iPad for his birthday so we were exploring some of the news/journalism apps available.  All of the apps listed below are free, which is a wonderful step in diminshing the destructive paywall in media.

I’ve already talked about the New York Times and how impressed I am with theirs.  I have to say that I prefer it to their online edition.  It is much easier to navigate, more visually appealing and significantly less overhwhelming.

BBC News has produced my second favorite app.  Categories are lined up on the side of the article (horizontal) or at the top of the article (vertical).  You can scroll through the categories to see top stories with photos.  I definitely enjoy this format as an avid news reader.  However, there is an abundance of information that may be overwhelming for some.  Also, reading articles horizontally isn’t exactly convenient, because you are forced to scroll down more often.  However, it is a breeze if you hold your iPad vertically.

The Wall Street Journal for iPad is decent, but not great.  There is a lot of downloading with the app itself, which is a little annoying.  However, the articles are easy to read and navigate.  And it is free!!  Well kind of.  To have access to all of the content you have to pay.  No real surprise there with the Wall Street Journal.

The Associated Press has a really interesting presentation that is not typical of a news organization.  The design is almost like that of a scrapbook with headlines, photos and videos scattered across the app.  However, it is slightly more complicated to navigate.  This would be something you would definitely have to adjust to.  Hopefully they will adjust their app to make it more user-friendly.

The Guardian has not created an official iPad App for news, however, their Eyewitness App is absolutely amazing!!  It offers vivid full-screen photographs with optional captions and tips in the corner.  Hopefully, they will produce a full app in the future.

Finally, the Washington Post has not produced any apps for the iPad.

Definitely some great steps overall for new media!!