MobileMe&You Conference sets records

A record 419 people registered to attend the MobileMe&You Conference at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in October 2018.

On Thursday, Oct. 25, 119 people registered for the Google tools training and 120 showed up. Of the more that 100 Google tools trainings that have been conducted at universities around the country, ours had the largest attendance by a factor of 2.5. In other words, normal attendance is between 30 and 50, averaging about 45. We had 120.


Zach Wade, senior producer for mobile programming at CNN Digital, shows the many ways audiences find CNN’s cable, online and mobile information. (MobileMe&You Photo)

On Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26-27, about 350 people attended the various sessions and watched them online. The speakers were amazing, and descriptions of their talks, along with videos of their presentations, are available here.

MobileMe&You is a journalism and technology conference focused on new and innovative tools and best practices for news gathering and storytelling on mobile media. We introduce you to the latest technologies affecting the journalism industry.

This year speakers from The Washington Post, Quartz, CNN, Univision, Verizon, the Tampa Bay Times, Medill’s Knight Lab and various universities discussed  how to use drones, bots, mobile multimedia news gathering, virtual reality, 360 video, social media and audience analysis.

The 2018 conference will be at the University of Illinois. Journalism schools at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Northwestern University and the University of Illinois are partners in producing the conference.

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MobileMe&You 2018 returns to University of Nebraska-Lincoln

MobileMe&You 2018 will be Oct. 26-27 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications. The conference highlights new and innovative mobile media techniques and explores how to think differently about storytelling on mobile media platforms.

Ashley Codianni

Ashley Codianni, CNN Worldwide’s senior director of social media, tells MobileMe&You 2017 how CNN uses mobile media to reach new audiences. (Photo by Darrell Hoemann)

This year, the conference was at the National Computing and Supercomputing Applications building at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

About 140 people registered, and nearly 200 watched the conference on the live stream. Eighteen speakers led talks or demonstrations on mobile sites, mobile tools and apps, social media and news, audience research, virtual reality, augmented reality, 360 video, bots, headline writing for mobile, business models, creative thinking, place-based information and reaching the Hispanic audience.

Six graduate students in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln did social media reporting for the conference. They tweeted about each session and wrote a blog post summary of most sessions. We had about 200 substantive tweets, which are a compendium of mobile media tips, trends and tools. The same is true for our conference blog.

MobileMe&You started at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2015. Northwestern University was the 2016 host.








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Schedule for MobileMe&You 2017

1504712278453MobileMe&You 2017 will be at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, on Oct. 20 and 21. The conference is sponsored by the journalism schools at the University of Nebraska, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern University and by Univision News.

MobileMe&You is a journalism and technology conference focused on storytelling on mobile media platforms while highlighting new and innovative techniques and best practices for newsgathering.

Presentations include journalists from newsrooms such as The Washington Post, CNN, Quartz, Univision and the Onion, who will talk about informing and engaging new audiences in the mobile era. They will cover a variety of techniques and reporting tools, including bots, drones, augmented reality, virtual reality, 360 video and mobile platforms.


Friday, Oct. 20, 2017

8:30 a.m. – 9 a.m.
Registration + Coffee

9 a.m – 10 a.m.
Running Sustainable Digital Media Brands (auditorium) 
Raju Narisetti, Gizmodo Media Group, Univision Communications, Inc,
Join this Question and Answer session to learn tips from a digital media leader who helped transform the Washington Post and News Corp.’s various brands into top mobile and digital performers.

10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
The Onion’s Tips for Flourishing in the Mobile/Social World
Joe Fullman, The Onion
Joseph Fullman will discuss howchanging mobile consumption patterns and the shift to social video have transformed the economics of digital publishing. The evolution of three strategies (“The Three Ds”) have helped The Onion flourish in this new environment.
– OR –
Conversations with Robots
Emily Withrow, Quartz Bot Studio
How do you fake being human? Should you? Conversational computing is changing how we interact with machines. It presents new storytelling and audience opportunities for journalists. Emily Withrow will discuss her experimental work with the Quartz Bot Studio, where she writes, designs and builds conversational news experiences for various platforms.

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Adventures in mobile and off-platform storytelling
Ashley Codianni, CNN Worldwide
CNN’s Senior Director of Social Media will share cutting-edge examples and lessons learned on a wide range of stories and platforms. You’ll hear about storytelling on messaging apps, the growth native social video, the use of VR and live streaming and innovations in digital field reporting from places like North Korea.

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch (provided) 

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Mobile Devices and Cultural Institutions
Susan Poulton, Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute has brought virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence to the museum experience via a native mobile app. Chief Digital Officer Susan Poulton will explain the challenges and opportunities of meeting visitors’ expectations about using mobile phones to create new experiences in place-based destinations.
– OR –
How to work as a mobile journalist
Val Hoeppner, Val Hoeppner Media
Description: Journalists most powerful, and most underutilized, reporting and multimedia tool is their smartphone. With a smartphone we can capture photographs, audio and video. We can create video packages or social media videos. We can record cell phone calls, write stories, translate text and manage social media. In this session we will explore some of the best apps on the market and the skill set necessary to work as a mobile journalist.

2:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
People Love Apps! (Just not necessarily yours…)
Aron Pilhofer, Temple University
In this talk, I’ll offer a skeptic’s — borderline heretic’s — view of the assumed value of native apps for most newsrooms. But wait! Aren’t apps more popular than ever? Aren’t all of our most loyal, most engaged readers in the app? And aren’t apps the best reading experience on mobile? The answers to those questions aren’t as clear-cut as you might think.
– OR –
The science and art of crafting headlines for social/mobile
Kurt Gessler, Chicago Tribune
What prompts an audience’s first interaction with your story, video or podcast? It might be the brand that first catches someone’s eye. Or the author. After all, you’re pretty cool. Maybe it’s a compelling visual. All certainly play a role. But as the display space gets smaller, you’ll find it impossible to ignore the impact of words, regardless of platform or media type. The headline is one of the most effective ways of promoting your content. It often means life or death. Yet most writers, editors and producers aren’t spending enough time exploring the science — and the art — of crafting engaging digital headlines for mobile and social.

4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
You Are There: telling stories with immersive technologies, including 360, VR, AR and fully-body haptic interaction
Dan Pacheco, Syracuse University
– OR –
Transdisciplinary Education: What is it? How does it work?
Megan Elliott, University of Nebraska Lincoln
You can’t be successful in mobile media knowing just one discipline. Join this practical discussion about what to study to prepare for a life of projects that will cross disciplines.

5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Reception and Demonstrations

Saturday, Oct. 21

8:30 a.m. – 9 a.m.
Registration + Coffee

9 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Trends in mobile adoption with Pew Research Center
Aaron Smith, Pew Research Center
Description: Just how many (and which) Americans are smartphone owners? How are they using their mobile devices to engage with news and navigate the always-on information environment? Aaron Smith discusses the latest trends in mobile adoption, usage and attitudes from Pew Research Center surveys.
– OR –
Fighting the good fight in a world of distributed platforms
Christopher Meighan, The Washington Post
In today’s world, there is no one place that everyone consumes their news. To engage readers and build new audiences, publishers must go to where the readers are, whether that be Facebook, Instagram, Medium, Snapchat or Apple News. Furthermore, content isn’t one-size-fits-all anymore. We must adapt our storytelling to meet the audience’s expectations across platforms. Learn how The Washington Post is addressing these challenges on a daily basis.

10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.
Drone journalism

Matt Waite, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Learn how to enhance your stories with the perspective that only a unmanned aerial vehicle can provide. Get detailed information about how to get started using a drone for your journalism.
– OR –
Reaching Latinos through mobile-first visuals
Almudena Toral, Univision News Digital
Learn how Univision reaches a shifting demographic in two languages using visual formats tailored to mobile media. The discussion will include photojournalism, documentaries, social video, first-person animations, virtual reality, infographics and design for digital specials.

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Trick or treat: What works and what doesn’t in mobile technology?
Judd Slivka, University of Missouri
Mobile technology continues to advance at a fast pace. We’ll review what software works for what level and present a range of hardware options to create high-quality content from the field.
– OR –
Lessons from Billy Penn, The Incline and Denverite
Jim Brady, Spirited Media
Creating an easy, friendly mobile experience

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch (provided)

1:30 pm - 2:30 p.m.
Hands-on workshops (sign up at the registration table)

1 – Using smartphone for journalism – Val Hoeppner

2 – Augmented/virtual journalism – Dan Pacheco and Acton Gorton

3 – Drone Journalism – Matt Waite and Darrell Hoemann

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MobileMe&You 2017 features reporting techniques using bots, drones, augmented reality, 360 video

Top digital journalists, innovators and researchers from universities and news organizations across the nation will lead this year’s MobileMe&You conference, which is set for Oct. 20 and 21 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
MobileMe&You 2017 is a journalism and technology conference focused on storytelling on mobile media platforms while highlighting new and innovative techniques and best practices for newsgathering.

1504712278453The presenters, who include journalists from newsrooms such as The Washington Post, CNN, Quartz, Univision and the Onion, will talk about informing and engaging new audiences in the mobile era. They will cover a variety of techniques and reporting tools, including bots, drones, augmented reality, virtual reality, 360 video and mobile platforms.

Speakers also will discuss geographically targeted place-based messaging, audience engagement and the latest mobile media research from the Pew Research Center.

This year’s conference will feature demonstrations from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, which is co-hosting the conference. The first major commercial web browser, Mosaic, was developed at the NCSA.

Donna Cox, director of the center’s Advanced Visualization Laboratory and the Illinois Emerging Digital Research and Education in Arts Media Institute (eDream), has helped with conference planning and is organizing the demonstrations.

She and her collaborators have created cinematic virtual tours through astrophysics, earth sciences, engineering and other data domains. The laboratory’s work is shared through venues such as international digital-dome museum shows, high-definition documentary television programs and IMAX movies.

Among this year’s speakers:

●       Jim Brady, Spirited Media
●       Ashley Codianni, CNN Worldwide
●       Megan Elliott, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
●       Joe Fullman, The Onion
●       Val Hoeppner, Val Hoeppner Media and Consulting
●       Christopher Meighan, The Washington Post
●       Raju Narisetti, Gizmodo Media Group, Univision Communications, Inc.
●       Dan Pacheco, Syracuse University
●       Aron Pilhofer, Temple University
●       Susan Poulton, Franklin Institute
●       Judd Slivka, University of Missouri
●       Aaron Smith, Pew Research Center
●       Almudena Toral, Univision News Digital
●       Matt Waite, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
●       Emily Withrow, Quartz Bot Studio

Since its inception in 2015, MobileMe&You has helped more than 400 journalists and students learn how to better use mobile and digital tools in reporting.

The conference is organized by the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Knight Chairs in Investigative Reporting in the College of Media at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University, Univision News and The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, with generous funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the College of Media at Illinois, and the Knight Chairs.


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Creating a Center for Mobile Media

Vision and Goals

The MobileMe&You conference gathered 25 nationally recognized experts to share how their organizations are using phones, tablets, wearables, drones, 360-video and virtual reality viewers to reach people wherever they are on whatever device they are using. Speakers talked about new ways to tell stories on new platforms.

The inaugural conference, attended by 365 people and funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, was proof of the public’s interest in mobile media. MobileMe&You showed the need for academic leadership in mobile media research and experimentation. The success of the conference showed that the need is there and the time is right to launch a multidisciplinary research center to create and study new mobile media products and techniques, publicizing what works and what doesn’t.

Graphic by Cody Elmore

Graphic by Cody Elmore

Mobile devices are the most ubiquitous communication devices in the world – they outnumber televisions or radios. They bridge all the digital divides: economy, age, geography, education, race, religion and ethnicity. No matter which side of the divide you are on, you are more likely to have a mobile device than any other communication tool. Mobile media also are the best way to communicate internationally. They have the greatest opportunity to unite people in a worldwide conversation. However, their use is still relatively new and unexamined, particularly in the United States.

A Center for Mobile Media at the University of  would be the first multidisciplinary academic and industry effort to improve the way people use mobile media in their daily lives. Through research, field tests and partnerships between academia and industry, the center would study how to make mobile communication more effective and more profitable.

The center would combine the efforts of research professors and professors of practice. It would create academic-industry partnerships to solve real problems, evaluate the solutions and then further improve them. It would focus on the unique and defining characteristics of mobile media. It would study how best to reach the mobile audience. The goal is to create multidisciplinary academic-industry partnerships that foster a constant loop of products being created, tested, improved and disseminated.

The Center for Mobile Media would be the hub that unites the disparate efforts of academic and industry researchers, professionals and students. It would create a focused and disciplined way to pull together multidisciplinary research projects from across all of UNL’s campuses for greater impact in mobile media research and practice. It would be driven by professors, students and industry professionals all working together on common problems and concerns.

Successful mobile media projects require multidisciplinary efforts.  A mobile app or website, wearable technology or drone journalism require knowledge from journalism, advertising, public relations, marketing, computer science, graphics, human-centered design, audience analysis, psychology and sociology to be successful. They also require academics and professionals to work together to create projects, study them and spread their adoption.

The Center for Mobile Media is needed to organize cross-disciplinary research and fundraising efforts. Because mobile media opportunities are multidisciplinary, the study and advancement of mobile media must be multidisciplinary as well. Additionally, a center allows for public-private partnerships to be part of the research equation and the teaching method. A multidisciplinary center provides the vehicle to ask and study research questions that don’t fall exclusively within any particular area of study. The cross-fertilization of ideas and the variety of problems to be solved in a multidisciplinary center are better ways to understand and research the complex, cross-disciplinary and multicultural problems that naturally occur outside the walls of academia. The same holds true for fundraising. A multidisciplinary center significantly increases the number and types of foundations, businesses and governmental agencies that would have an interest in its outcomes.


Why UNL and why now?

How would a Center for Mobile Media work?

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Why UNL, and why now for a Center for Mobile Media?

Photo by University of Nebraska communications office

Photo by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln communications office

The MobileMe&You conference showed that interest in using mobile media is at a peak. Attendees divided nearly equally between the university community and industry professionals. Large and small businesses and nonprofit organizations were represented. People came from about 20 different states. Conference registration had to be cut off at 365, which is amazing for a first-time conference.

Ninety-five percent of respondents to a post-conference survey said they would attend another conference about mobile media next year. Five percent weren’t sure. No one said they would not attend another mobile media conference. The conference showed that UNL can use its reputation for journalism innovation and its convening power to bring together experts from around the world to discuss mobile media practices and problems.

UNL has experience creating scores of centers, with several receiving national attention for their unique and multidisciplinary focus, such as the Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior, the Water for Food Institute and the Nebraska Center on Research for Children, Youth, Families and Schools. The Center for Digital Research in the Humanities is the national leader in applying big-data techniques to many areas in the humanities. Professors on this campus are experienced working in multidisciplinary teams.

The College of Journalism and Mass Communications has started building the core of the Center for Mobile Media by:

  • Receiving $240,000 in grants from Knight Foundation and the Ford Foundation to create demonstration projects and a national conference to show the interest in the type of work a Center for Mobile Media would do


  • Working with the Nebraska Press Association to create a mobile website for NPA members,


  • Teaching mobile application design and creation, new product development, mobile multimedia journalism and mobile social media


  • Establishing the nation’s first Drone Journalism Lab, which is experimenting with new ways to gather information and video by using remotely controlled vehicles. The Lab is also examining the ethical and legal implications of these practices. This work will have significant impact on how major media outlets will gather information and report on events like natural disasters, riots, wars or protests.


  • Adding a social media researcher to the faculty whose research agenda includes mobile media


  • Creating a mobile photojournalism website  with students at the Raikes School of Computer Science and Management


  • Working with the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in teaching a new product development class


  • Working with the colleges of law, business administration, fine and performing arts, and arts and sciences in the creation of a law class called “The Legal and Business Aspects of Creative Activity”


The Center for Mobile Media will prepare students for jobs that do not yet exist. It will put the University of Nebraska–Lincoln on the map as the place for innovative digital experimentation and innovation. Other universities have created systematic ways to study various aspects of media, but no one is doing it with the goal of helping students and industry professionals adapt together to disruptive change caused by mobile media.

MIT’s famed Media Lab creates new products, many of them mobile, and tests their viability for anywhere from the present to 10 years in the future. The products are demonstrations of graduate students’ skills at creating new technology or bringing current technologies together in new ways. But there often is no current audience for those products. They are proofs of concept.

The Pew Research Center studies attitudes and beliefs that shape the world. The center studies journalism, media and the Internet among many other topics like beliefs about global warming. It has studied attitudes about mobile media, but does not focus on how to improve it or speed the adoption of mobile media. Nor does it train students to be leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs.

The Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri “engages media professionals, scholars and other citizens in programs aimed at strengthening journalism in the service of democracy.”  Its Journalism Futures Lab and Technology Testing Center works to improve the quality and distribution of news and advertising. The study of mobile media is a part of this goal, but not a main focus. It also does not specifically train students.

Northwestern University’s Knight Lab facilitates the collaboration between journalists and technologists as it develops new technologies for the news industry. It does not focus on mobile media. It does work with industry partners.

Arizona State University’s Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab works with professional clients who can’t do their own research and development and who don’t have the ability to create new products for which there is no business model. Sometimes these clients seek mobile media products. Currently, the lab is focusing on virtual reality projects.

University of North Carolina’s School of Media and Journalism will open a research center in 2016 “to explore new models for community news and support the testing and development of innovative digital media products for local news sites.” The center will work to “help reporters and editors be more effective and nimble in the newsroom.”

Each of these centers contains pieces of what the proposed Center for Mobile Media would do, but none of them focuses specifically on mobile media. Also, none of them is a broad, multidisciplinary center that seeks to bring together researchers and practitioners from many different academic and business interests. Cross-discipline partnerships in the current centers and labs have been mainly limited to journalism, computer science and engineering. Northwestern’s lab and North Carolina’s center work with news companies to help professionals use new technology better. ASU’s lab partners more systematically with those companies to solve a specific problem. A Center for Mobile Media would create a permanent loop of new products analyzed and improved by ongoing research that then suggests new products again. It would be a team of multidisciplinary academics and professionals solving problems of interest to both. It would create a nationally recognized niche in mobile media research. Partnering with businesses would increase the opportunities for outside funding.

No current center or lab is focusing on the most ubiquitous and life-changing communication tool we have: mobile media. No current media center or lab is designed to be a multidisciplinary academic-professional partnership.

Part 1: Creating a Center for Mobile Media

Part 2: Why UNL, and why now?

Part 3: How would a Center for Mobile Media work?

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How would a Center for Mobile Media work?

Graphic by Cody Elmore

Graphic by Cody Elmore

In addition to conducting its own research, the Center for Mobile Media will acquire grants and then re-grant to multidisciplinary academic-industry projects. The first goal is to fund a research chair specifically dedicated to mobile media research. This professor’s work would be supplemented by grants to project teams across the University of Nebraska system. The Center would issue requests for proposals that help innovate or scale the use and understanding of mobile media for news, information, advertising, games or transactions. The Center has minimal overhead costs because it doesn’t need a building or a large staff. Initial staff would be the director and an executive assistant. The director’s first task is to raise the funds for ongoing operations and a research chair.

Because mobile media are our daily companion and our tool for doing an increasing number of daily tasks, the potential partnerships are limitless. Health care, banking, entertainment, journalism, advertising and public relations are fields where an early research focus and early fundraising focus would be most beneficial for the center.

Bankers and financial institutions want to know how to combat the obvious threat of peer-to-peer mobile payments to the banking business model. Health care professionals want to know how wearable media could monitor rural patients and transmit data to off-site doctors. News organizations want to know how to use mobile and social media to reach Gen X and Gen Y youth. Advertising and public relations professionals want to know how to use the tools youth use, their phones, to promote brand development and engage their audience.

Mobile media are changing what the public expects from each of these fields, and there are no established best practices to meet those expectations. That gap is the gap a Center for Mobile Media would fill.

Part 1: Creating a Center for Mobile Media

Part 2: Why UNL, and why now?

Part 3: How would a Center for Mobile Media work?

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Hundreds attend first MobileMe&You conference at UNL

(The following post is reprinted from my article, “From ‘information nuggets to ‘glance journalism,’ MobileMe&You explored how to think differently to reach the audience of today and tomorrow.”)

Speakers at the MobileMe&You Conference at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in October 2015 agreed that mobile media are the way to reach the audience of the future. They also showed there’s no right way to do that. The conference explored how mobile media, wearable media, virtual reality, news applications and drone journalism are revolutionizing communication today, just as the Gutenberg press did in the mid-1400s.

Jim Brady at MobileMe&You

Jim Brady, founder and CEO of the mobile site BillyPenn, tells the MobileMe&You conference that a good mobile site makes it easy for the audience to get the information it wants quickly. (Photo by Vincent Péna)

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation awarded me a grant to create MobileMe&You to bring together leading experts and researchers to talk with professors, students and workers about how to inform and engage new audiences in the mobile era.

Mobile and social media are changing our lives by creating a new lifeline of constant information that reaches us wherever we are, whenever we want and on whatever device we’re using, said Aaron Smith, associate director of research at the PEW Research Center’s Internet Project. He said we’re becoming a world feasting on constant information snacks, not meals.

“We’re becoming a world feasting on constant information snacks, not meals.”

—   Aaron Smith, Pew Research Center

Our phones are becoming our information-seeking tool of choice, he said, with 62 percent of people using their smartphones to research health conditions, 57 percent doing their online banking, 43 percent looking up information about jobs and 18 percent using their smartphones to submit job applications.

The story is no different around the world. Joseph Adah, information resource specialist at the U.S. Mission in Nigeria, told the conference that although the use of mobile phone in Africa is nowhere near critical mass, there still are more mobile phone users in Africa than in the United States and Europe combined. Mobile media in Africa are the new lifelines for health information and education.

Clint! Runge, managing creative director of youth marketing agency Archrival, said that although the platform on which to reach youth is mobile media, the message has to be tailored to the independence that digital media have given Gen Y and Gen Z.

“There are more mobile phone users in Africa than in the United States and Europe combined.”

—   Joseph Adah, U.S. Mission in Nigeria


José Zamora, vice president of strategic communications for Univision's news division, says the way to reach the Hispanic audience is with mobile media.

José Zamora from Univision says an important way to reach the Hispanic audience is with mobile media.

José Zamora, vice president of news strategic communications at Univision, said the way to reach the Hispanic audience is through mobile media. He said Hispanics use mobile media at an even higher rate than the black or white populations do.

From wearables to drones to virtual reality today and who knows what tomorrow, mobile media are expanding what we think of as media and what we think of as information.

Victor Hernandez, a fellow at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, sees a future in which wearable mobile media create “glance journalism,” with short information nuggets. Those nuggets could be life-saving health data transmitted to a doctor across the country.

Those doctors could be training in virtual worlds created by 360-degree video shot with mobile gear and studied on portable viewers. Virtual reality is the new reality for Dan Pacheco, Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications innovation chair.  He teaches how virtual reality watched with a headset or cell-phone viewer give such new perspectives that they can put the audience inside a cell to see how medicine works or in a valley to see how it was formed during the Ice Age.

Matt Waite, founder of UNL’s Drone Journalism Lab, told the audience at MobileMe&You how drones can be used to shoot video and photos in places too dangerous for a videographer, like the edge of a waterfall or the middle of a pride of lions.

Teaching with mobile media was the focus of other speakers. They want to help universities partner with industries to teach students to become the new leaders integrating emerging technology into newsrooms, ad agencies and businesses around the world.

Nicole Kraft, assistant professor of journalism at The Ohio State University School of Communication, described her experiment teaching a reporting class in which students’ only tool was what they could do with their iPads. She said the iPad is the journalist’s one-stop tool.


Retha Hill at MobileMe&You

Retha Hill, executive director of the Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab at Arizona State University, says educators have to do a better job experimenting with and teaching new story-telling technologies. (Photo by Alyssa Ranard)

Retha Hill, director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, said she is teaching students to take risks as they experiment with adapting new technologies for the changing news ecosystem.

“There has to be a symbiotic relationship between journalism schools and industry. They need us, we need them,” she said.

Other speakers and their topics at MobileMe&You were:

  • Andy Boyle, web developer for NBC News Digital Group’s Breaking News, discussed how to plan and design new mobile products. Boyle is an alumnus of the UNL College of Journalism and Mass Communications.


  • Jim Brady, CEO & founder of, talked about using a mobile-first news site to reach the youth audience.


  • David Cohn, senior director, Alpha Unit, Advance Digital and former executive producer, Al Jazeera+, discussed how to improve the mobile product experience and attract a new audience.


  • Sally Ann Cruikshank, assistant professor of journalism in the School of Communication and Journalism at Auburn University, reported the results of her paper, “Mobile Learning: Rethinking the Future of Journalism Practice and Pedagogy.”


  • Andrew Haeg, founder of the mobile engagement platform, GroundSource, and teacher of human-centered design, talked about how GroundSource can be used to increase mobile engagement in communities.


  • Brant Houston, Knight Chair in investigative reporting at the University of Illinois, discussed how to use mobile devices when gathering news.


  • Emily Ingram, mobile product manager at The Washington Post, discussed how to plan and design new mobile products. Ingram is an alumna of the UNL College of Journalism and Mass Communications.


  • Julie Jones, associate professor at the Gaylord College at the University of Oklahoma, reported on her research, “Covering #SAE: A Mobile Reporting Class’s Changing Patterns of Interaction
on Twitter Over Time.”


  • Yusuf Kalyango Jr., associate professor and director of the Institute for International Journalism in the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, reported the results of his paper, “Mobile Learning: Rethinking the Future of Journalism Practice and Pedagogy.”


  • Damon Kiesow, head of mobile initiatives for McClatchy Co., discussed how newspapers’ culture and content management systems work to make it difficult to produce “mobile-first” content.


  • Alan Knitowski, CEO of Phunware, Inc.; USA Today Money’s 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, talked about all the data mobile devices gather about their users and how companies use that data.


  • Susan Poulton thinks mobile apps will enhance the museum-goer's experience. (Photo by Alyssa Ranard)

    Susan Poulton thinks mobile apps will enhance the museum-goer’s experience. (Photo by Alyssa Ranard)

    Susan Poulton, the first chief digital officer at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, said she disagrees with many museum administrators who think mobile media distract from the museum experience. She wants to create a museum app that is used as an education app outside the museum, too.


  • Allissa Richardson, mobile media professor at Bowie State University, demonstrated products that enhance the photo and video capabilities of mobile media.


  • Natalee Seely, doctoral student in the School of Media and Journalism at UNC-Chapel Hills, worked with Nicole Kraft, who reported on their research, “Making Mojos: How iPads Are Enhancing Mobile Journalism Education.”


  • Judd Slivka, assistant professor of convergence journalism at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, demonstrated products that enhance the photo and video capabilities of mobile media.Damon Kiesow, head of mobile initiatives for McClatchy Co., discussed how newspapers’ culture and content management systems work to make it difficult to produce “mobile-first” content.


  • Ben Vankat, online editor at the Omaha World Herald,  discussed how newspapers’ culture and content management systems work to make it difficult to produce “mobile-first” content.


  • Pamela Walck, assistant professor in the Journalism & Multimedia Arts Department in the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts at Duquesne University, reported the results of her paper, “Mobile Learning: Rethinking the Future of Journalism Practice and Pedagogy.”
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Diversity project creates easy partnerships

The Ford Foundation grant for diversity reporting in Nebraska that I brought to our college with the Asian American Journalism Association and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association is having the additional benefit of helping us form important partnerships

HeartlandRGB_VertThe Nebraska Press Association supports the project, has discussed it in its newsletter and the executive director has introduced our reporter, Bobby Caina Calvan, to newspaper editors. Calvan will speak about diversity reporting at the NPA’s annual convention. Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (Nebraska’s NPR and PBS stations) has invited Calvan to talk to NET’s reporting staff about adding diverse sources and story ideas to their daily reporting.

Calvan has spoken to reporting and multimedia classes and is working with about six volunteer students on a project that an area newspaper plans to publish. He has discussed student projects with a class that is reporting on Lincoln’s refugee community. He’ll work in the summer with a multimedia professor, and in the fall with a multimedia class.

The topic of diversity has done a great job of creating willing partners to give our students more outlets for their work. It’s also given news organizations a mutually beneficial way of working with our college. Diversity reporting has enabled several of our professors to work on a common project.

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College works with minority journalism associations to cover diversity in Nebraska

With $200,00 from the Ford Foundation, a unique partnership in diversity reporting and training is occurring at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The Asian American Journalists Association, the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and the College of Journalism and Mass Communications have embedded a reporter at the college to focus on reporting diversity stories unique to Nebraska.


Bobby Caina Calvan

Called the Heartland Project, the plan is “to increase media coverage of minorities and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities in Nebraska.”

Bobby Caina Calvan, who most recently was a national political writer in the Boston Globe’s Washington, D.C., bureau, is working with news organizations throughout Nebraska, with the help of the Nebraska Press Association, to write stories and produce multimedia pieces about minority issues that the news organizations are willing to publish, but don’t have the staff to produce.

Calvan will work with journalism faculty and students to produce stories and multimedia projects that involve LGBT communities and communities of color, focusing on four topic areas: access to health care, economic recovery, immigration and domestic violence.

Calvan also was a reporter at the Sacramento Bee, and he covered the war in Iraq for McClatchy newspapers. He was a foreign reporting fellow for the International Center for Journalists in Laos.

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