Mobile First News Strategy: Covering Breaking News for Multiple Platforms

Multi-platform media expert Val Hoeppner shared tips on Covering Breaking News for Multiple Platforms at Newspapers Canada 2015 conference in Toronto.

The key, Hoeppner said, is to make mobile news easily accessible and attractive.

`They [our audience] can watch videos of Grumpy Cat and play Candy Crush, or we can make our news available to them, so that they choose the latter,’ said Hoeppner.

‘Your mobile audience is always available for news, even when they don’t have to have a newspaper in their hands.’

The digital media consultant advised that stories can grow online, in a way they never could in the paper. People won’t wait. If you don’t have the details to them stat, you’ll start to lose brand.

Social media is free to use, is key to driving traffic to breaking news stories, and with every social media update (or most of them anyway), you can link back to your website.

A couple of good examples of mobile sites are and Ottawa Citizen. On both of these sites, you can sign up for updates on specific stories you’re interested in following.

AJ+ is also a great mobile news site. On the site, you’ll see a number on each story, which tells you how many cards are in that series. Each card is a sub-story that has to do with that topic. Some of the options ask the audience to vote – that’s not because AJ+ cares what they think, but it’s because people like to push buttons – it draws them in and tracks how deep they get into a topic.

Lastly, Hoeppner challenged the journalists in the room to read their own news from their publication’s mobile app or mobile browser. “Take seven days and try to get all your news there. It shows you how frustrating it can be for your readers.”

Check out Hoeppner’s website for more resources and tutorials at