Headed by the newly appointed senior editor, Matt Frehner, The Globe and Mail’s new mobile and interactive unit will focus on increasing reach and engagement on digital platforms. 

The Globe and Mail is launching a mobile and interactive unit headed by newly appointed senior editor Matt Frehner.

Frehner will manage a core team of five that will work on multimedia projects for digital storytelling, support the newsroom in multimedia and mobile ventures and develop new products such as Android tablet app, which will launch this summer.

“This is my dream job,” Frehner told J-Source. “I’m really excited about this.”

Approximately 45 per cent of the Globe’s digital traffic comes from mobile products, so Frehner sees the formation of this unit as management’s support and recognition for this kind of journalism.

“It’s everything from the day-to-day stuff to working on longer-term ambitious projects and developing feature templates that anyone in the newsroom with a little bit of HTML coding will be able to use,” he said.

For example, Frehner and Stuart A. Thompson, the Globe’s multimedia editor who left recently for the Wall Street Journal, developed a special website for the Sochi Olympics that integrated multimedia content into the narrative where it made sense for storytelling. While the Olympics site was hosted on WordPress, the Globe now has a similar template for long-form journalism on its site.

“Before there was no difference between an 800-word article and a 100-word article or a 2,000-word article,” Frehner said. “But this template looks visually different, it’s not paginated, it has a different font and it gives an immediate cue to the reader that this is something they probably want to invest more time in.”

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Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.