Commentary

'Guardian' Launches Mobile News Lab

The Guardian U.S. is joining forces with The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to launch a news innovation lab focusing on the intersection of mobile technology and journalism,  the partners announced this week.

The Knight Foundation is contributing $2.6 million to the lab, which will consists of a multidisciplinary editorial and production team with engineers, designers, developers, and reporters. Among other goals, the lab will explore innovative ways to present news on smaller screens, publish news in real time, and involve citizens in breaking news. It will also work with other new digital products, including Facebook Instant Articles and the Apple News app.

The team for the New York-based lab will operate autonomously, creating original content, but will be able to draw on resources from the rest of TheGuardian newsroom. Results and insights will be shared and discussed on a dedicated blog.

Over half The Guardian’s online traffic comes from mobile devices, according to the publisher.

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Previously, the British edition of the UK-based newspaper produced a branded consumer engagement experience for British cell phone service provider EE, called GuardianWitness, which encouraged readers to contribute reporting using their mobile devices and social media. GuardianWitness is now a dedicated app and feature of the Web site that continues to ask readers to share photos and stories about certain topics like climate change.

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