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!!

Media Cloud

The Berkman Center for Internet & Societ at Harvard launched a new system/application in March that follows media trends.  Media Cloud takes articles–each day–from an astounding amount of news media and blogs and stores the information in a database.  Users can then visit the Media Cloud website and chart this data.  While this is not a finished product, it is an interesting and innovative way to study media.  Journalists, communication researchers, news enthusiasts and average Joes are able to explore media trends easily without having to actually gather the data.  The Berkman Center has done this for us, taking out a time-consumng step and allowing us to focus on the content.  This is valuable because we can, in turn, improve the quality of journalism.  Hopefully, ethics committees and news media will utilize Media Cloud to optimize journalism.

I encourage you to check out Media Cloud yourself, but below is some interesting information.

TOP 3 TOPICS

CNN:  United States, Washington, California

Fox News:  New York, Florida, Texas

MSNBC:  Afghanistan, Taliban, Mexico

The New York Times:  United States, Washington, California

The Washington Post:  Virginia, United States, New York

The Wall Street Journal:  New York, China, Washington

I find it interesting that CNN and The New York Times (both considerably left-sided) had identical Top 3.