Launching the Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab

A quick introduction to the lab taking root in the Guardian US newsroom.

Hi, everyone. We’re here!

“We” being the Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab, which we’ve just started up within the Guardian US newsroom in New York to help push news organizations forward in exploring the possibilities of storytelling and delivering news on mobile devices.

With the exception of a few organizations, mobile teams within newsrooms tend to be small and don’t have the resources to push into the future of mobile while they take care of the basic needs of reporting out the news, albeit in changing ways.

That’s where we’ll come in. We’ll be testing out ideas and assumptions about how audiences receive and engage with news in mobile environments, looking at everything from chat apps to location signals to video, to reporting using new tools, and more. We’ll also be sharing what we learn with the industry. The project will run for two years under generous funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Sasha Koren (Left); Sarah Schmalbach (Right)

For now the team is small, consisting of just the two of us: Sarah Schmalbach and Sasha Koren, the product and editorial leads. We’re both new to the Guardian and excited about bringing the team to life and working with our colleagues in both New York and London. Once we get our plans firmed up and assess what we need to get things done, we’ll bring on others.

As of this writing, we are sketching out projects for the immediate future as well as laying the groundwork for next two years.

We’re working on our first small-scale experiments and talking through how to evaluate their success or failure, and how best to communicate with those who will be interested in our work, and getting to know our new colleagues.

Over the course of the project we’ll be doing a fair amount of sharing about what we learn and how we’ve learned it, here on Medium and on Twitter. We also want input from the widening community of journalists and technologists interested in the progress of mobile in news.

To that end: What do you think we should make sure to look at over the next two years? Leave us a comment, tweet at us at @gdnmobilelab or drop us a note at innovationlab@theguardian.com

We look forward to hearing your thoughts and suggestions, and we’ll keep in touch.

— Sasha and Sarah

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