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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 7: Women and Men: Divided and Connected in the Mobile Space


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Divided and Connected in the Mobile Space

In 2008 the editors of Women, Men, and News: Divided and Disconnected in the News Media Landscape and its contributors explored the gender gap in news consumption in the U.S. and around the world with the goal of identifying causes behind the gap and solutions that news organizations, journalism schools, and society might employ to close the gender divide in news consumption, increase news engagement overall, and strengthen the belief that being informed is important. Because Women, Men, and News was published one year after the iPhone was unveiled and two years before the introduction of the iPad, the book’s editors and contributors could not have foreseen the impact of smart mobile devices or the role they might play in the news consumption habits of men and women. Would smartphones and tablets close the gender consumption divide or enlarge it?

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