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Live chat replay: What opportunities do storytelling apps hold for journalists?

With a solid career in news design Joe Zeff, has become a top designer of apps. Formerly the graphics director at TIME, Zeff designs apps that, among other things, focus on telling stories.

His latest project is Spies of Mississippi, Free in the iTunes store. “Spies of Mississippi” is also a book and a PBS show. All tell about the state campaign to block African American voting rights during the civil rights movement. Zeff’s project, which includes documents that help tell the story, is described as “Unlike a book or documentary, this ‘appumentary’ leverages the multimedia capabilities of the iPad to enable audiences to engage, explore and respond.” We’ll talk about the marriage of traditional journalist values and storytelling with new forms and how journalists can get ready for those opportunities.

Here is a replay of the live chat.

You can revisit this page at any time to replay chats after they have ended. Read more

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News in motion: six ways to be a good mobile editor

So you want to be a mobile editor?

Or maybe you just got the gig. Congratulations! Now what?

I’ve heard that question a lot lately from newly minted mobile editors at organizations big and small. It’s not that surprising. Mobile has been the coming future of news and information for a long time, but many news outlets only woke up to its importance in the last year.

Why? That’s easy: 50 percent. Last year, many news organizations either hit or approached the 50 percent mark in digital traffic coming from mobile. That opened many eyes. It became very clear that mobile isn’t coming — it’s here. It’s been here. Mobile is now. And news organizations need mobile editors more than ever (read on for Six Ways To Be A Good Mobile Editor).

I became The Wall Street Journal’s first — and, at the time, only — mobile editor in 2009. Mobile was different then. Read more

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Replica editions dominate recent newspaper iPad apps

In the newspaper tablet app race, the replicas are winning.

My informal review of news iPad apps released in March reveals that the majority are PDFs or PDF-like recreations of the print edition, dominated by a few vendors and newspaper groups.

Tecnavia developed apps released by four different newspaper chains this month, while Presteligence, NewsSynergy and Paperlit backed another handful of offerings. Among the apps I found, only the Tulsa World and The Daily developed their apps in-house.

The Daily is an outlier because its new Elizabeth Taylor Tribute Magazine paid app is meant as a one-time offering and was built using the framework of the daily publication.

Among the other 20 apps I found, the trend toward vendor-supported replica apps is both promising and troubling. Only the Greensboro News-Record and the Brainerd (Minnesota) Dispatch could be classified as “interactive” — resembling a traditional Web experience as opposed to a static representation of a printed page. Read more

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