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May 26, 2011

CNN and Nokia announce plans to collaborate to deliver mobile news and rich mapping

GLOBAL – Today Nokia and news network CNN have announced plans for an international agreement which will see Nokia providing rich mapping services to the network. You may have already seen the first fruits of this collaboration when CNN used Nokia’s new 3D maps to show the route of the recent royal wedding procession in the UK.

The collaboration also includes a new CNN news app available in Ovi Store.

Now that the Internet revolution is here, CNN is adapting to the new way of interacting with it’s audience as well. CNN has embraced getting feedback and discussing issues with viewers on Twitter, even live during broadcasts.

Nowadays, mobile devices are a main way media outlets are dispersing and receiving news as well. When the US Airways flight went down in the Hudson River in New York City, a picture posted to TwitPic was the one that news agencies used to describe the scene. Also, in countries such as Libya and Egypt, moments captured by mobile phones including videos and images often help break a story.

To add to the reach of CNN International, the organization has released an application specific to Nokia phones. I’ve had a chance to play with the application and I’m quite impressed. As far as Symbian apps go, the CNN International app is one of the most beautiful and functional I’ve ever seen.

Upon the first time you launch the application, you’re met with a clean interface with a black background. At the top you can scroll through the news sections including those for geographic regions including Top Stories, US, Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East. Also included are special interest groupings such as Business, Sport, Entertainment, Tech and Travel.

The scrolling between categories is smooth scrolling, successfully utilizing the touch interface to it’s fullest extent. Selecting an individual category brings up the top 10 stories in each with a short heading and a small graphic. The interface is clean, useful and informative – with enough graphics to keep your attention but with emphasis placed on the individual news stories.

As you read a news story in detail, you have the option of sharing the story via SMS, Email, Facebook or Twitter. By giving this option, CNN makes it possible to share stories you find interesting with your friends and colleagues. Adding to this, with all the options ranging from SMS to Twitter, you can reach your friends and family, no matter what mediums they’re present on.

A unique factor of the CNN app is the iReport section. iReports are a CNN facility that allow members of the public to become citizen journalists by submitting an audio or video report directly to CNN. In the iReport portion of the app, you can view iReports form around the world. Also, app users can submit iReports as well, directly in the CNN Application. For example, on my Nokia N8, i can either select a video or photo from my library and submit an iReport on an event or story I think the world would find interesting.

Lastly, CNN has included video reports in this official application. From the video section, you can select amongst the same categories for news described above, yielding a large selection of video news reports to choose amongst. I’ve watched videos on both Wi-Fi and over 3G networks and streaming happens quickly and with minimal delay.

All in all, the CNN app is a great tool for reading news and watching reports while on the go. The iReport section brings a different perspective that sheds light on news and events as they unfold. I like the ability to upload video and pictures from the application to CNN as an iReport.

How would you use the CNN application? Does the ability to submit your own news as a citizen journalist excite you?