Unique New Course to Teach Journalism for Mobile Devices

David Ho

With an ever-growing number of people staying informed via smartphones and tablets, the CUNY J-School is offering a first-time 15-week course in mobile and tablet journalism this spring.

The course, Touching the Future of News: Mobile and Tablet Journalism, will provide an overview of the technology needed to create and deliver news for the ubiquitous devices. Students will design and publish a news app for these platforms, and they will learn about mobile tools for reporting and storytelling.

“We have an opportunity to set the standard (in mobile journalism) with help from one of the leading experts in the field,” said Sandeep Junnarkar, director of the School’s Interactive Journalism Program.

The instructor is David Ho, editor for mobile, tablets and emerging technology at The Wall Street Journal. He is the founding editor and co-creator of the WSJ iPad app and Tablet Edition. A longtime national reporter and media technology pioneer, Ho has been lead editor for the Journal’s mobile and emerging platform efforts since 2009.

Junnarkar gave a list of reasons for students to enroll:

* It’s the first course of its kind, offering 15-weeks of hands-on experience in this growing journalism specialization.
* Every news organization concerned about its growth (or survival) must implement a mobile/tablet strategy.
* It’s early in the game and there aren’t enough journalists who specialize in mobile/tablet news strategy and journalism.
* Next year, mobile devices are expected to overtake desktops and laptops as the primary way people go online for news and information. Understanding mobile/tablets for news and media consumption is key to the success of journalists in the next decade.
* Media consumers interact with news differently on mobile and tablets than on other mediums. Understanding these and other unique qualities of mobile news consumer is critical in the development and operation of news apps.
* This course is a must for journalists who want to understand the workings of a new kind of newsroom – one where editorial and business and technology converge.
* Students gain an understanding of the app development process and learn how to create a basic news app using free tools.
* They will also become familiar with the planning and design process needed to build a more complex app.
* Students learn how to customize their storytelling for these devices.