Apparently, print is dead. Dead, dead, dead.
As much as I love the feel newspaper has on my fingers as I flip from page to page and the crisp sound it makes as I turn it, I have come to accept the fact that the way most people get information is changing. I am not alone in this realization either. News media companies, (which previously consisted of print media and broadcast news), have been frantically trying to figure out what to do before becoming the lining of the proverbial kitty litter box.
Going digital has been the clear answer, from quizzes with results users can post onto their Facebook walls, to content that looks great on a smartphone, newspapers have been trying to adapt and keep up with the times. One of the cooler things to come from this race towards relevancy is an app called Newsbeat.
This new customizable news radio app is being brought to us by the Tribune Company, whose portfolio includes major newspapers like the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. The idea of listening to news isn’t exactly novel, in fact it’s about as old school as you can get, but what makes this particular app so appealing is the way it lets users customize what they want to listen to from written material on the internet.
It’s like being Editor-in-Chief of your own NPR program
Newsbeat lets users choose specific stories, topics, and sources from printed and digital new sources and turn them into an audio stream. If I am going to be honest with you (the reader) and myself, I have to confess that I am a massive NPR fan. Morning Edition is my jam and being able to come up with my own playlist of material from my favorite blogs, websites, and new channels is an embarrassingly dorky dream come true.
Once you have complied a list by choosing topics, sources, and events, you can just sit back and enjoy the flow of information. This has immense potential for people looking to utilize their commutes or lunch breaks better. Instead of waiting for the weather report to be over, listeners can create lists that keep them informed on what’s happening in their industry.
In less than five minutes, I was able to create an audio stream that is essentially a startup-centric version of Morning Edition. That alone has potential to revolutionize a commute but Newsbeat goes one step further by offering tailored news, weather, and traffic info for your particular commute. Become editor-in-chief of your own news desk by downloading the app on iTunes or on Google Play now.