Centre for Journalism releases unique iPad app

Kent University's Centre for Journalism has become one of the first university departments to have its own iPad app made available in the Apple Store.

With so much of the media excited by the opportunities presented by the iPad and other tablet devices, including Rupert Murdoch proclaiming it “may well be the saving of the newspaper industry”, journalists and trainers are looking at the new technology more and more.

Generally only big media companies have been able to take the initiative because of the high development costs needed to work with the new devices, but now Kent University’s Centre for Journalism has become one of the first university departments to design its own iPad app and have it approved by Apple.

The CfJ app showcases the work of students and staff at the Centre – including student TV bulletins and video packages. It also includes videos from some of the high-profile masterclasses from media figures including Mark Thompson, Alan Little and Michael Crick. In addition, the app contains a feed from the Centre’s web site, and details of all their NCTJ-accredited courses.

The app was developed by Ian Reeves, director of learning and teaching at the Centre for Journalism, who plans to develop it further and add more functionality as time goes on. He said: “I wanted to see whether it was possible for a journalist without specialist programming skills to create an app without the help of teams of specialist developers. It was a steep learning process, and took a couple of months for me to develop.”

iPads and other devices provide exciting new possibilities as they allow immersive multimedia journalism to be delivered in new and innovative ways to audiences. They also provide options for publishers to charge for it in a similar way to print based media.

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