The Brains Behind the JMSC iOS App

Nathan Griffiths (MJ 2011) is the brains behind the new JMSC iOS app for iPads and iPhones.

Nathan Griffiths (MJ 2011)

Griffiths saw an advert on the Nieman Journalism Lab about how they built their iPhone app and thought it would be a good project to pitch to the JMSC.

“The JMSC didn’t yet have a mobile app and I thought that I had enough familiarity with both the school and the technology to put the two together,” said Griffiths.

Griffiths set about experimenting and built a test version of the app to demonstrate its look and some of its features. He then showed it to several JMSC staff and got their input.

Once it was given the green light by JMSC Director, Ying Chan, and JMSC Senior Teaching Consultant and new media expert, Diane Stormont, they decided on the final look and feature set and built the app from there.

“The thought behind the JMSC app was to provide something for students and alumni,” said Kevin Lau, JMSC Online Media Producer.

“It was targeted for the JMSC community and family. We wanted to give something for students, that’s why we included all the syllabuses from classes so students can access them easily.”

“Also, we wanted alumni and other people interested in the JMSC to find our events easily,” Lau continued.

“The centre regularly invites amazing guests such as Pulitzer Prize winner Nick Ut or Ethan Zuckerman and we wanted to engage with our community by making these talks available to find through a map or through video on your mobile phone.”

“Today’s internet is increasingly a mobile one and it’s essential for organisations to establish a presence in that space,” said Griffiths. “I think the app is a great way for the JMSC to establish itself in the mobile space and to connect with students, alumni and others.”

Griffiths spent the summer doing an internship at the Economist Intelligence Unit, working as a research assistant.

He then started a small, IT-related project for the South China Morning Post (SCMP), helping to automate some of the information gathering tasks for its interactive, online database WhoRunsHK.

Griffiths believes that his Master of Journalism at the JMSC equipped him well: “I think by combining the theoretical and technical skills from the coursework with day-to-day application in the internships, I was able to develop the skills and the confidence needed to succeed in the industry.”

“We definitely do not see this being the end of the JMSC app,” said Lau. “We want to build on this for the future and come up with more things for the JMSC community and family.”

For more information about Nathan Griffiths click on his website.