America: Public Radio's Dash into the Mobile World

As we explore the role of mobile media for the Mobile Media Toolkit project, we are delighted at the coverage on National Public Radio's mobile section on its "Inside NPR" blog. NPR, a public radio conglomerate in the United States, has made some forays into the mobile world, mostly with its applications on smartphones.

First, it released an API that let users develop applications that could access NPR recordings going back thirteen years. Then, it released a very-polished looking iPhone application, and also plans to develop an application for the Symbian platform.  NPR has also blogged about the details of the process of creating the iPhone application that should be helpful to other media producers doing the same.

Next, we'd love to see NPR's take on the debate over public radio's place on the mobile phone. From their work so far, it seems they are aiming to use mobile phones to enrich public radio, and build rather than hurt user loyalty. The iPhone app, with its integration of audio and written content, is certainly a step in the right direction towards such enrichment.

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