The Guardian and Knight Foundation Launch a Mobile News Innovation Lab

The Guardian reports that its US news team has received a $2.6 million grant from the Knight Foundation to set up an innovation lab which will look into new ways to deliver news on mobile platforms.

“The innovation lab will sit at the heart of our US newsroom and will draw on the collective expertise of our team in order to do things differently in the mobile space,” said Katharine Viner, editor-in-chief of Guardian News & Media. “We’re also really excited to be sharing our results in an open environment, so others can learn from our experiments and get involved in the conversation about mobile journalism.”

Last year the Guardian reported that it had overtaken the New York Times to become the world’s second most popular english language mobile news site, so the organisation is clearly already engaged with the shift towards mobile consumption. Findings made by the lab will be shared with other news organisations, and as well as looking at mobile news, the Knight Foundation report that the lab will examine ‘ways of engaging readers in storytelling in real time and at advancing citizen participation in breaking news’.

In a Q&A with Nieman Lab Lee Glendinning editor of The Guardian U.S said;

‘The purpose of the lab is to explore how the rise of mobile might require the rethinking of journalistic processes across the board, including news gathering, reporting, publishing and citizen engagement. We’re just getting started, but we expect to test assumptions about mobile journalism by asking questions such as whether mobile lessens the gap between reporter and reader; how the needs of smartphone and tablet readers differ; how we can better bring multimedia stories to life on mobile; and how can mobile workflows be integrated into current newsroom practices’.