When ice covers the roads, it can be just as hard for news crews to get around as it is for the general public. So, reporter Margaret Ann Morgan and some of her colleagues at Raycom-owned WDAM in Hattiesburg, Miss. got serious about newsgathering with their smartphones during their recent encounter with winter.
“Last week was the first time that 95 percent of what I did was all from my iPhone,” said Morgan.
With traveling into the station to get gear not a speedy enough option, Morgan says they had to get creative with how they would put together the newscast.
“I was scraping the ice off of my car Tuesday morning and realized, ‘Hey, this would be some great nat sound!’ So I pulled out my iPhone and started recording. I was able to put it into Oasis straight from my phone, and we — and other stations — used it for the newscasts that day.”
Once she got going, Morgan said it just made sense to continue.
“Everything I did, including whips, SOTs, etc., was done straight from my iPhone for three consecutive days.”
These days, mobile newsgathering is synonymous with social media sharing in many newsrooms. Morgan says she was posting, sharing, retweeting and “just glued” to her phone for the duration of the story.
“This brought me more interaction with viewers via Twitter and Facebook than I’ve had since I started working here. They knew I was an up-to-second source for road closures, etc., so they began to tweet at me directly to ask info, and I was able to share it with them and the rest of the world.”
Morgan’s experience is a great example of the saying that, “Sometimes the best newsgathering tool is the one in your hand.”