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Nieman Journalism Lab
Pushing to the future of journalism — A project of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard

This chart — from Mary Meeker’s much anticipated annual slide deck of Internet trend data, debuting today at D10 — is a prime example of the future being already here, just unevenly distributed. In this case, the future is the coming dominance of mobile as a path to the Internet, and the lumpy distribution favors India.

This month, for the first time, the majority of Internet traffic in that country will come from mobile devices, not desktops and laptops. India’s ahead of the curve — globally, mobile’s only about 10 percent of traffic — but anyone with access to web analytics can tell you trends lines are all moving in one direction.

Much scarier for traditional print media companies is this chart, showing the disconnect between U.S. consumer time spent and ad money spent, by medium. Print takes up 7 percent of our time but 25 percent of ad budgets; mobile devices take up 10 percent of our time but only 1 percent of ad budgets. That’s an imbalance that won’t continue forever.

— Joshua Benton
                                   
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Ken Doctor    July 25, 2014
When people talk about explanatory journalism, the focus is on new players like Vox and FiveThirtyEight, or on giants like the Times and the Post. But can connecting the dots trickle down to the local level?