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Expert Fires Warning Flare: Journalists Have 3-Year Deadline Till Mobile Phones Overtake PCs as Most Common Web Access Device

The Fear: Is This Google News and Craigslist All Over Again?

COLUMBIA, MO -- (Marketwire) -- 02/24/10 -- As a 2009-2010 Fellow at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) whose focus is mobile phone journalism, Clyde Bentley's mission has taken on a sudden sense of urgency.

Bentley's initiative: to help newspapers figure out how to add mobile phones to their publishing platforms.

In January when Gartner Research predicted that by 2013 mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide, Bentley, an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and an experienced newspaper journalist, issued "The Road to 2013: A timeline for newspapers." It has drawn industry-wide attention and served as a catalyst for news editors in the mobile technology hotseat. Through RJI Bentley is forming a network of mobile news editors and others:

--  Join the listserv to receive information as innovations are unveiled:
    [email protected]

--  Attend the strategy conference at RJI April 19-20 to help newspapers
    move into the mobile era. Contact [email protected].

--  Follow Clyde Bentley's Mobile Blog: www.mobile.rjiblog.org.

"In the past couple of months technology has changed so fast it's difficult to keep track," says Bentley. "The explosion of interest in mobile technology is much bigger than I imagined. At the 2010 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, I've had a glimpse of a world where the hardware is just an artifact of a social sea change." Recent entries on Clyde Bentley's Mobile Blog:

--   "The two most common pieces of technology in the world are the
    toothbrush and the cell phone," according to research reported by
    Cecilia Atterwall, head of ConsumerLab for phone-maker Ericsson at the
    Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. This is a big opportunity for
    the newspaper industry, although competition from cell phone system
    operators could be deadly... for instance Google's announcement that
    it's going "mobile first." 

--   "The success of Apple's App Store earned it major competition in February
    as 24 of the largest mobile carriers banded to form a single "Wholesale
    Applications Community" that will give developers a single point of
    entry. If the move truly allows application developers to create
    applications across multiple platforms, newspapers will have a much
    easier time designing special apps that appeal to a larger audience. 

--   "Will new 4G standard sink Sprint's plans? That could be highly
    significant to newspapers and a big blow to Sprint," says Bentley, who
    translates tech jargon (CDMA network protocol, LTE, 3G, 4G, etc.) into
    English. 

--   "Within 35 months -- or sooner -- the U.S. newspaper industry needs to
    move its emphasis from the static Web to the mobile Web. From 17-inch
    displays to 3-inch displays. From full keyboard and mouse to one-handed
    navigation. This is a killer deadline, but we need to get fired up for
    the challenge." 

About the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute
The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute engages media professionals, scholars and citizens in programs aimed at improving the practice and understanding of journalism. Part of the Missouri School of Journalism, RJI collaborates with news and technology companies, professional associations, foundations and individuals to generate and test innovative models and technologies for journalism and advertising. Six Donald W. Reynolds Fellows spend an academic year at RJI, working with Missouri faculty and students and RJI staff to develop new ways to gather, process and deliver news, information and advertising. RJI was launched in 2004 with an initial $31-million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.

About The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation
The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, it has committed more than $100 million to its National Journalism Initiative in the United States.

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For more information contact:
Kelly Peery
Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute
Email Contact
(573) 882-9650

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