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Smartphones are Killing Online News

“This year’s data see a quickening of the pace towards social and mobile news, a decline in desktop internet, and significant growth in video news consumption online.”


Ace-mobile Samsung smartphone cellphone

Smartphones are killing the Internet based news industry, according to a new research report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ). The study cited the fact that people are more likely to get news from social media like Twitter and Facebook, when using their smartphones, then they are from traditional news websites and popular blogs.

First it was TV that endangered the print media. Then the Internet threatened both television news and the print media. Now even the Internet babies — the blogs — are in trouble along side the websites of both television and print media outlets.

More and more, headlines, graphics and content are being produced to fit onto a small smartphone screen. This obviously leads to less in depth coverage.

Titled “Digital News Report 2015, ” the researchers stated, “This year’s data see a quickening of the pace towards social and mobile news, a decline in desktop internet, and significant growth in video news consumption online.”

“At the same time, we see the continued centrality of traditional platforms – particularly television – and ever more stark country-based and generational divides over the way news is found, consumed, and distributed.”

The smartphone is now the defining device for digital news and RISJ sees this as a disruptive impact on consumption, formats, and business models. It says that now there are only a few successful brands, with others struggling to reach a wider audience, both via apps and browsers.

The move to online video, new visual formats, and social media coincides in many countries with a fall in audiences for traditional TV bulletins. The trend — not surprisingly — is most pronounced amongst people under 35.

Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram were cited as the biggest winners from the use of smartphones.

“We see an intensifying battle for global audiences online involving new players like the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed, expanding global newspapers like the Guardian and New York Times and old stalwarts including the BBC and CNN, ” says the report.

The researchers added that people are frustrated with the new system which filters what they get as news and which blurs the lines between editorial and advertising.

See the full report here.

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