HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Opening up the archives: JSTOR wants to tie a library to the news
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
May 23, 2012, 11:03 a.m.
white-house

Obama directive means federal agencies have to go mobile — can newsrooms keep up?

Each major federal agency is required to make two key government services available via mobile phones.

Okay, newsrooms: The race is on. Think you can innovate faster and better than the federal government?

Major federal agencies are getting 12 months to implement new mobile strategies, the White House announced on Wednesday. President Barack Obama says each major agency has to pick two “key government services” to make available on mobile phones. Obama said in a statement that “Americans deserve a government that works for them anytime, anywhere, and on any device.”

Exactly what that means will be up to individual agencies. The idea is to make sure the federal government finds ways to “keep up with the way the American people do business,” as U.S. Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel said in a statement.

More and more newsrooms are making the same realization. One in four American adults now has a smartphone, and one in five owns a tablet, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism 2012 State of the News Media report. The White House estimates that by 2015, more people will access the Internet via mobile phones than via traditional desktop computers.

The shift under way means consumers already expect access to news and information when and where they want it. The federal government’s mobile shift, should it be implemented as planned, will only serve to reinforce those expectations. And yet Pew finds that newsrooms have struggled to understand how people behave differently on mobile versus online. It’s worth watching how the feds approach that challenge.

From the White House: “To serve the American people as they make this transition, the Administration is committed to making the mobile shift right along with them. The digital strategies announced today intend to do just that. By next spring, the American people will be able to access dozens of additional government services on their mobile phones for the first time.”

Bernt Rostad’s photo of the White House used under a Creative Commons license.

POSTED     May 23, 2012, 11:03 a.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Opening up the archives: JSTOR wants to tie a library to the news
Its new site JSTOR Daily highlights interesting research and offers background and context on current events.
Six fresh ideas for news design from a #SNDMakes designathon
New media and legacy media came together at the second weekend-long “hackathon” hosted by the Society for News Design.
Where you get your news depends on where you stand on the issues
A new study by the Pew Research Center examines how Americans’ news consumption habits correlate with where they fall on the political spectrum.
What to read next
1020
tweets
The newsonomics of the millennial moment
The new wave of news startups is aiming at a younger audience. But do legacy media companies have a chance at earning their attention?
803A mixed bag on apps: What The New York Times learned with NYT Opinion and NYT Now
The two apps were part of the paper’s plan to increase digital subscribers through smaller, targeted offerings. Now, with staff cutbacks on the way, one app is being shuttered and the other is being adjusted.
537Watching what happens: The New York Times is making a front-page bet on real-time aggregation
A new homepage feature called “Watching” offers readers a feed of headlines, tweets, and multimedia from around the web.
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
BBC News
Journal Register Co.
The Awl
Seattle PostGlobe
The UpTake
Bloomberg
Tampa Bay Times
National Review
Examiner.com
New Haven Independent
American Public Media
The Huffington Post