A.J. Feather

Journalist, Developer

I'm a Missouri native currently seeking a dual masters in computer science and journalism from Columbia University in New York City. Every week I also host an awesome podcast called "Integrate" with my friend Mikah, which you can find at Integrate.FM.

Before moving to New York, I obtained undergraduate degrees in journalism and economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia. In Columbia, I hosted a weekly show called "Talking Politics" for KBIA, the local NPR member station and produced, wrote and anchored video for Newsy.com way too early in the morning.

There has never been a political column I did not enjoy reading or an Apple product I did not enjoy using.

Bite-Size News on Mobile

Building a news service for mobile can be hard.  Customers commonly don’t pay for content, and if you try to make them, they will go elsewhere - elsewhere in this context means either The Huffington Post or The Drudge Report.  Mobile content is a tricky math equation where the content provider tries to find the most efficient method of content production while  generating enough revenue to support his business.

In class this week, we heard from Circa’s Editor-in-Chief Anthony DeRosa.  He talked about content creation for the web and how Circa is building a reading experience that couldn’t exist pre-smartphone generation.  Circa takes bits of information and compacts them into single-page viewing experiences on their mobile app.  This allows them to update information as the story develops, post maps, post videos and deliver information to the reader efficiently.

They currently don’t have a website, but their app delivers on its motto of “Save time. Stay informed.”  Efficient information is popular among bite-size news organizations.  Newsy delivers information from multiple sources on a broad range of topics through one or two minute videos.  SourceFed puts together short informational videos with comedic hosts.

But to date, it seems no one has found the perfect combination.  While Circa has been receiving substantial funding, according to DeRosa, and Newsy was purchased by E.W. Scripps Company, none of these services have turned into household names yet.  (Note: The way I judge this is by asking my grandmother where she gets her news.)