Tools for mobile journalism

Take a mobile  phone and a broadcast quality microphone and the world is your storybook.

That’s what multimedia guru Stephen Quinn believes.  Quinn, who teaches at Deakin University in Australia, shared a bit of his enthusiasm about mobile journalism at the World Jounalism Education Conference in South Africa.

Quinn calls mobile phones a “Swiss army knife” option for journalists.

“They’re compact, light and discreet,” Quinn said.  “Using cell phones forces journalists to think differently.  This new notion of mobility changes the way you perceive and operate in the world.  It’s all about connection.  Reporting involves thinking about how to find wifi, you have to be thinking about battery power.  And our concept of news is broadening – if I can get there, it’s news.”

Quinn says these new capabilities also change audience expectations.

“They know we can get there and expect to get the info,” Quinn says.  Plus, he believes it will help us reach new audiences.

“Mojo appeals to different demos; it appeals to younger audiences,” says Quinn.

Quinn says mojo is part of a change in visual standards, too.  He believes people become more accepting of low quality video, if the content is something they find compelling.

Quinn shared a list of free software programs that mojos can use in live reporting:

Quinn says his favorites are Qik and Bambuser for their ease of use.  He also likes the relatively inexpensive tools created by Vericorder.

When it comes to its uses and limitations, Quinn says right now the technology has not evolved enough to make mojo useful for long-form journalism.  However, Quinn says mojo is great for breaking news as evidenced by cell phone coverge of  protests in Burma, elections in Iran, the Jakarta hotel bombings, Haiti quake and the Moscow subway bombings.

Still, Quinn urges journalists not to get all caught up in the “shiny.”

“Pocket journalism is powerful, but needs it still needs a brain behind it,” Quinn says.


5 comments for “Tools for mobile journalism

  1. August 9, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Mobile journalism via mobile phones and services such as Qik, Kyte etc. were a big topic in 2008. I followed the developments closely, but I didn’t see very much happeing in terms of journalistic outcome besides amateur videos. Are there any up to date examples of this kind of mobile journalism?

  2. Raenell
    February 28, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Mobile is journalism is one of the fastest for every journalist to come with a scoop or a story to write or to report. This things are being done by many journalist today and I think it lessen their burden. Unlike the old way of gathering such stories where they are having the hard time, this one way of reaching out and sharing some important events by the journalist through mobile is very fast. Thus, here in the Philippines many of the Filipino reporters is using this kind of approach.

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