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What iOS 7 Says About New Media (And Its Consumers)

iOS 7 running on an iPhone 5

Somehow, Apple causes a frenzy every time the company introduces a new product, and its newest mobile operating system, iOS 7, is no exception to the rule.

Earlier this month, Apple announced the forthcoming iOS 7 at its developers conference in San Francisco. The new system has a pretty striking visual. I didn’t think Apple products could look cleaner or simpler, but enough about its aesthetic.

Here are some conclusions I think journalists can draw from iOS 7’s features and functionality:

Reporters are even better equipped to make their iPhones a “one stop shop” 

Gone are the days when writers had to lug around reporter’s notebooks, laptops and tape recorders. At a moment’s notice, you might have to get up and go with only your iPhone in your bag.

Some pretty fascinating experiments have been done on reporting solely with an iPhone in the past, and 10,000 Words’ Lauren Rabaino wrote a piece on the concept a couple years back. It doesn’t seem possible, but now iReporting (to use a CNN-coined phrase) will be a more streamlined process thanks to iOS 7. Read more

WatchUp: ‘Video Centric News Reader’ Relaunches With New Features

As if you needed another way to waste time, WatchUp, an app that aggregates news video content has relaunched with new partnerships, a redesign, and new features.

It’s worth a download, especially if you consider news consumption to be anything but a way to waste time.

Founder Adriano Farano, a self proclaimed ‘digital dinosaur’ who helped found Cafe Babel, calls the app a “video centric news reader” focused on setting a new standard for the news experience on the iPad:

It’s no joke… There are many video aggregators but none that focus solely on the news. We offer all that comes with the immersive experience of video, and a chance to read print articles.

He’s talking about the new Watch and Read feature, which allows you to choose to ‘lean in,’ he says, if something is particularly of interest and click on links to related articles from around the web for context.

Read more

Is Journalism Ready For the “Open Interview”?

Would you ever let a subject put your interview on Youtube for everyone to see? That’s what Chad Witacre, the founder of online gift exchange program Gittip requests for each and every one of his interviews — something he likes to call an “Open Interview.”

The philosophy behind an open interview, to Witacre, is supremely simple: as a transparent company with an accessible open source API and clear funding partners, it only makes sense to bring out discussions with the media to the general Internet community and ensure users that there’s literally nothing to hide.

“With journalists I’m much more comfortable requesting openness,” Witacre writes in his article on Medium. “They’re writing for the public record, and it benefits readers and keeps us both honest to have the raw material on record as well.”

Read more

Instapaper, Digg, and the Social Reading Revolution

In the ensuing months after Google made the decision to unceremoniously discontinue Google Reader (which is,  in this journalist’s opinion, one of the best news-gathering methods around), panicked users have made the mad scramble to find a suitable replacement before the plug is pulled this July.

But perhaps our best option for a new reader isn’t even out yet — and it comes from a pretty unlikely place.

Well-known startup developer-turned-budding publishing company Betaworks is making a serious gambit to change social reading as we know it today. Last year, the company snapped up forlorn social news aggregator Digg, and gave it a new lease on life. Today marks the company’s follow-up acquisition of Instapaper, a stunningly simple article saving service that has been known and loved by journalists and the broader public for years. With both companies now under the same umbrella, it’s no surprise that Betaworks is planning on somehow revamping newsgathering on the web.

But how? Well, filling Google Reader’s shoes is a great start.

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This Handy Tool Separates Journalism from Press Releases

Everyone has been in contact with lazy journalism — whether its one article looking a bit too full of market-speak or a group of articles using the same descriptive terms — but it’s always been very difficult to suss out whether it’s a coincidence or a purposeful cut-and-paste job. Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit focusing on governmental transparency, has decided to tackle the problem head-on with its new website, Churnalism.

If you think a particular article looks, well, suspicious, simply paste the link’s URL or  the text directly into Churnalism’s free scanner (or add on a free browser extension) and the tool will match phrases to press releases within its database. The tool scans through many popular PR hubs, including PR Newswire and MarketWire, and it has also revealed it can grab text from Wikipedia and the US government’s websites. You can compare the article side-by-side and see what was lifted from source material — and whether it’s taken out of context.

Check out the video on Churnalism below. Read more

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