PSA: I am writing this blog from my lovely smartphone and I must say times have changed! Remember when cameras built in your phone was a luxury? Nowadays, you can’t even buy a phone without one! Well, this little but powerful device (along with the Internet) has changed the face of journalism! Mobile journalism, that is.
Mobile journalism is an emerging beast that allows reporters (and the audience for that matter) to storytell using portable electronic devices, such as the cell phone, to gather, edit, and publish news. Mobile makes it possible to actually receive news while it is breaking! Instead of the average “you’ll find out more tomorrow morning,” journalists are able to get to scene and literally get to work with the push of a button. Timeliness is one of the most crucial aspects to a story and if you are not on top of things, kiss your viewers goodbye (and maybe your career, haha)
Things like live videos and pictures more than likely ALWAYS enhance your story and viewers’ understanding. Typical situations that create these mobile opportunities:
-criminal & civil trials, especially for key witnesses
-important community speeches or government meetings
All of which are great subjects and examples of where mobile journalism fits in. There are different ways you can “mojo” too! First, there is mobile microblogging. Twitter is perfect for this. It gives a preview of your story without going into full analysis (there are only 140 characters). But, this makes it easy You can even send tweets like text messages. It saves the hassle of having to carry all your equipment. Some powerful microblogging tools are listed.
Then there is live blogging. It is where you send updates and basically guide your audience as to what is going on wherever you are. It is nice for your viewers because it makes them feel like they are there without really being so. It is important to remember that once you have your beginning…make updates and label it with a time so your audience can follow along like this. Personally, I love this technique for its effective use of time.
What only was a few years ago seems like an eternity with the technological advances our world has achieved. From the Internet, which was only 15+ years ago, to the iPhone, technology is only getting better and journalism, as we know it, is only trying to keep up. So, either you can get with the technology and keep up with its rapid pace and effects on journalism…or you will be left in the dust.