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The Media Martini: Time Redesigns for Mobile, NPR Smashes Barriers, Influence Marketing, What Makes News ‘True’?

Here are our top picks from the stories in media this week.  Grab a martini (or your favorite martini alternative), settle down, and enjoy!

1.  Time Magazine Caters to Mobile Users, Shifts to Responsive Design

Time magazine adapts to mobile devicesRather than follow Newsweek’s move to all-digital, Time is redesigning its site so that content “snaps” to the user’s screen size (no matter what size that is).  Content will be the same across all platforms, with the potential for more customized content down the road – maybe even tailor-made content for each platform, reports AdWeek. “This is just a very smart first step,” said Time managing editor Richard Stengel. The magazine will also still embrace mobile app users, as “we really want to support both experiences.”

2. NPR Is Smashing Barriers

NPR's Gary Knell speaks about "smashing barriers"NPR CEO Gary Knell wants to “smash together the digital and so-called audio journalists” because these distinctions no longer matter – “the audience doesn’t view news that way anymore.”  In an interview with Nieman Foundation curator Ann Marie Lipinski, Knell said he’s pushing to keep delivering news and other programming that can’t be found elsewhere – by developing new tools, working on an NPR app for cars and investing in a news apps team. He said, “I’m very devoted to the idea that media is the most powerful teacher that’s ever been invented. Maybe that was drummed into my head at Sesame Street.”

3. The 5 Elements of Influence Marketing Programs

Influencer Marketing ProgramsTonia spoke on a panel about social advocates at the Online Marketing Summit this week, which included a discussion of the 5 steps in any successful influencer marketing program: 1. identify 2. engage 3. empower 4. inspire and 5. celebrate. For more details on each of these elements, check out Tonia’s post at The Realtime Report.

4.  What Makes News ‘True’?

If reporters are supposed to be “truth vigilantes,” what happens when the web and social media allow anyone to share the news?  Social media’s “democratization of distribution” has created thousands of different versions of any story — so who decides which one is true?  GigaOm reports on the Poynter Institute’s “Journalistic Ethics in a Digital Age” forum, with two particularly interesting findings: 1) arriving at the truth is much harder than it used to be, and “traditional journalism may not be up to the task,” and 2) defining the truth may no longer be something that is done by professional journalists in isolation, but instead will emerge over time, through a process that involves both journalists and “the people formerly known as the audience.”

One additional note:  apparently it was the week of redesigns, and not just for Time — Harper’s relaunched a more searchable site with blog-like content and a Commentary section on each page, and Disney.com underwent a major overhaul with hopes of turning around repeated losses in the company’s gaming, mobile and Internet division.

Before you head off to happy hour, tell us what you were reading this week!