Mobile News Experience: Comparing New York Times and The Guardian

Mobile News Experience: Comparing New York Times and The Guardian

Wendi Li (The University of Melbourne, Australia) and Xiaoge Xu (University of Nottingham – Ningbo, China)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7885-7.ch015

Abstract

Mobile has become a mainstream medium for news consumption on the go. To cater to the growing demand for mobile news, traditional news providers have switched from “mobile too” to “mobile first” strategies. To enhance mobile news communication, it is imperative for mobile news providers to stay abreast of mobile news consumers' changing expectations of mobile news experience in a news app. It is equally imperative to identify the gap between news consumers' expectations and what mobile news experience is embedded in a mobile news app. Using a mobile experience index, the authors of this chapter have located the venue and extent of the gap through conducting a survey of mobile news app users and a comparative analysis of indicators of mobile news experience in selected news apps.
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Earlier Studies On Mobile News Experience

Among earlier studies on news apps (excluding news aggregator apps), we selected studies on mobile news experience expected and offered. The goal of this section is to identify what has been done and what remains unsolved in terms of news apps with a special focus on the gap the normative and the empirical in mobile news experience.

Mobile news experience can be reflected in personalized content recommendations by leveraging their special and specific interests, desires and preferences inferred from their locations, Facebook and/or Twitter feeds and in-app actions (Kazai, Yusof & Clarke, 2016) or the access history (Kiritoshi & Ma, 2015). It may also be embedded in customization and enhancement of engaging experience through leveraging ubiquitous geolocation metadata (Oppegaard & Rabby, 2016). Thirdly, mobile news experience may also be part of a habitual personalization process through recognizing kinds of news reading behavior and adapting its display and interaction methods (Constantinides, 2015).

Mobile news experience can fall under two themes (repurposing and customizing) and four categories (human-led repurposing, technology-led repurposing, human-led customization, and technology-led customization (Westlund, 2013). In the case of podcasting apps, aggregated from a fragmented media environment, listeners can form a stronger relationship with content producers through “increasing sonic interactivity, encouraging ubiquitous listening, curating and packaging podcasts as visual media, and emphasizing social features that allow users to share podcasts with each other” (Morris & Patterson, 2015).

In their investigation of the circumstances, in which users want or do not want tailor-made news, Groot Kormelink and Costera Meijer (2014) found that users have limited interest in personalizing or participating in news. Different news app users may have different expectations. Per Constantinides, Dowell, Johnson and Malacria (2015), news app users can largely be grouped into three major categories: (1) trackers, (2) reviewers and (3) dippers. Due to their different motivations, news app users may have different expectations and experiences too in terms of frequency, daily reading time, browsing strategy, reading style, and location (Constantinides, Dowell, Johnson & Malacria 2015). In experiencing, mobile news, the role of social media can’t be belittled as they can help mobile users filter news per their prioritized needs and tastes for news in the context of information overload (Pentina & Tarafdar, 2014). In their longitudinal study of personalization of mobile news sites/apps, Thurman and Schifferes (2012) found that mobile users were reluctant to engage with complex forms of active personalization and a significant growth of user social-network based ‘social collaborative filtering’ as a form of passive personalization.

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