Cell phones, and particularly smart phones, have clearly done a lot for journalism. Smart phones are extremely useful for both reporting and consuming news. There are even some news outlets, like Newsy, that exist primarily on phones and tablets.
The technologies that may be possible “in the future” will apparently further revolutionize American journalism. Clyde Bentley mentioned geolocation and augmented reality as two new technologies that will be utilized by news outlets.
Although these technologies may seem brand-new and futuristic, news outlets in the U.S. and other countries are already using them. Süddeutsche Zeitung, which is based in Munich, has already developed augmented reality experiences for smart phones (iPhone and Android) that interact with their print magazine and with the streets of Munich, Berlin and Hamburg. Users just need to get a certain app and hold their phones over the pages of the magazine or in front of a building to see information pop up.
Geolocation is another tool that is already being used, but it has not caught on to the extent that other social media like Facebook and Twitter have. Foursquare is probably the most popular geolocation tool. Users “check in” to locations that they visit, and this information is viewable online or on the Foursquare app. Brian Manzullo discusses the pros and cons of geolocation in journalism. Some newsrooms, such as the Grand Rapids Press, already use geolocation as part of their Web presence. It’s interesting that geolocation has yet to catch on as more of a mainstream technique for news outlets.