Sunday, September 16, 2012

NYTimes: The "APP"erent Future of Election Coverage

Kaitlyn Crist

Apps for Every Occasion 
We all know that smart phone apps are here to stay. There are apps for every type of person for every single need. I even have an iPhone app that tells you the best time during a movie to sneak out and do your business, how long you have, and what parts you missed; it's called RunPee and it is fantastic.

 So when I saw I would be covering the NYTimes for this blog, I immediately opened my Twitter app, and followed four different NYT Twitters.

I also thought it would be a good idea to see if NYT had an app for the iPhone. Low and behold - not only did they have an app they had an elections 2012 app.

A"One Stop Destination" 
The app is described as the "one stop destination for politics news." I must admit, though it is not the only place I would check for election news, the app is pretty comprehensive.

The NYT Election app icon as it appears on
the iPhone home screen 
There are not only top election stories from the NYT itself, but the app also features stories from other news sites (Political, CNN, Huffington Post, etc.).

The app also has an opinion section, and a multimedia section containing photos and videos from the election trail.

The only downside is that the more in-depth content, such as polls, race guides, and candidate lists, require a NYT subscription.

This is a small hiccup in the app, and those who don't have a subscription can still get more information about the 2012 races than you can shake a delegate at.

The "Election Guide" section of the app.
Much of this content requires a NYT subscription.
Will Apps Rule 2016?
The 2012 election has been dubbed the "Twitter election."

 Though Twitter was utilized in 2008, it was still relatively new as a technology. In 2012 Twitter is being utilized like never before. Candidates posting directly to the site, breaking election coverage at your fingertips.

Will the same hold true for smart phone apps in 2016? It seems to be that way.

 By 2016 smart phones will be in the hands of most eligible voters. Many people will get their news by checking their phones. Similar to Twitter, the technology will be more widespread, and have more users.

 It looks like to reach the voting public, candidates and news outlets alike will have to develop apps specialized in elections to get the most updated information into the hands of voters.

 Though we don't know where the future of covering elections is going (only time will tell), it looks like it's going the way of the smart phone.

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