Mobile Newsmaking

Abstract: The research reported in this thesis concerns the design of new and innovative IT support for mobile news journalism. News journalists often have to report events on topics that they do not know very well and with little time for preparation. News reporting is often conducted in the field, away from the stationary IT support. The scope of this research is limited to the early phase of newsmaking when journalists transform everyday occurrences and happenings into newsworthy stories, discuss news events and formulate news tasks, do background research and frame news stories. The research question addressed is: How to provide reporters with contextual information relevant for news tasks in mobile situations? Contextual information reminds the reporter of the context for the task at hand. Helps the reporter to ask relevant and interesting questions and to properly frame the news story. The thesis contains field studies, design implications and applications of mobile technologies. The following theoretical and practical results are described: 1) NewsSpace, a design model describing new ways of using IT in news journalism, 2) NewsMate, a prototype of an IT service for mobile reporters, 3) FieldWise, a generalised architecture for mobile knowledge management, 4) A description of the newsmaking process focusing on the early phase of articulation and contextualisation of news tasks, and 5) A news task structure, called Localising News, and proposals of how the utilisation of task structures could improve the IT support for mobile news journalism.

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