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News for a Mobile-First Consumer

Paula M. Poindexter

The rapid adoption of mobile devices has created a new type of consumer, one who chooses smartphones and tablets over laptops and desktops, TV and radio, print newspapers, magazines, books, and landline phones. This new mobile consumer has not just forced businesses, institutions, governments, and organizations to innovate with mobile solutions; this new mobile consumer has upended the news media landscape, challenging news organizations and journalists to produce news for consumers who have little resemblance to yesterday’s newspaper readers, TV news viewers, and online news consumers.

Based on two national surveys, News for a Mobile-First Consumer introduces a mobile consumer taxonomy comprised of three types of mobile consumers: mobile-first, mobile specialists, and mobile laggards. The demographics of these mobile consumers as well as their relationship to news and social media are explored in depth. Social media as a competitor to and platform for mobile news are also examined, and special attention is devoted to news apps from the perspective of consumers.

News for a Mobile-First Consumer also provides insight about millennials, racial and ethnic minorities, and women, who are at the forefront of the mobile revolution but less engaged with news. To improve mobile journalism and increase news engagement, «Essentials of Mobile Journalism» are proposed.

As the first book to explore news and consumers in the mobile sphere, this book is required reading for scholars and professionals as well as undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in journalism, communication, strategic communications, advertising, media and society, marketing, and technology courses.

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Chapter 6: Race, Ethnicity, and Mobile


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The year 2015 may be remembered as the “Year of Race and Ethnicity.” With racial and ethnic flare-ups and setbacks, as well as progress and reconciliation, 2015 was the year race and ethnicity climbed back to the top of the media and public agenda. In fact, in a Gallup Poll taken July 8–12, 2015, race relations and racism were No. 3 on the public agenda behind the economy and dissatisfaction with government/Congress; immigration and undocumented immigrants were No. 4. The economy and dissatisfaction with government/Congress were each mentioned by 13% of poll respondents; 9% said race relations and racism were the most important problem; and 7% singled out immigration and undocumented immigrants (Riffkin, 2015).

The first half of 2015’s “Year of Race and Ethnicity” was dominated by news of the deaths of unarmed African American males at the hands of mostly white police officers, including the aftermath of Ferguson, Missouri, in which Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen, was shot and killed by a white police officer. More deaths of unarmed black males followed in Staten Island, New York, North Charleston, South Carolina, Cleveland, Baltimore, and Chicago, among others. But it was the unthinkable racist act in Charleston, South Carolina, that began the summer of 2015 and underscored that the deaths of unarmed black males as a result of excessive police force were not the only race problem in America. ← 95 | 96 →

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