iPhone Reporting, Innovation in Journalism

Reporters can now turn their smartphone into a multimedia reporting tool. The phrase ‘more for less’ really does come into play when we look at how reporting is advancing. Technological advancements are undoubtedly going to change the face of journalism. Portability, camera quality and access to a wider platforms through the use of  social media allows journalists to broadcast their story not only in the UK but around the world. 
In the media savvy world we live in people expect the delivery of news to develop as our technology develops. People want the news to be easily accessible. 

Broadcasters and publications thrive to be the quickest to deliver the news. Technology has progressed allowing reporters to use their smartphone as a tool to film events. iPhones and other smartphones now offer the software to film, edit and share high definition footage and these small devices have undoubtedly presented video journalists with an incredible tool. 

Mobile footage has been filtered into the news for many years now. Citizen journalism has provided us with thousands of photos and information, with people uploading images from their smartphones to the internet. Many photos from September 11th terrorist attacks and terrifying Indian ocean Tsunami in 2004 were captured on phones. The phones are providing us with more news than ever. 

Since then, thanks to continuing technological advancements, the mobile phone has become more widely used as a video device by journalists themselves, although more often by individuals working online than national broadcasters.

For those who are not always carrying around professional filming equipment a smartphone becomes handy, especially if you are at the scene of a breaking news story. You can film it and edit it on location and send it back to the broadcaster within minutes. 

iPhones now help reporters go about their day to day role. For example a reporter would be sent out to a location to film. The location can be found using Google Maps. The reporter can then use the application FiLMiC Pro to film their footage, this video recording app gives you manual control over image resolution and frame rate, it allows you to monitor sound visually, it allows GPS tagging and has a white balance function.  It beats the iPhone standard camera app when filming in areas where light is low as you can adjust the resolution and frame rate. The application also saves filling disc space in the iPhone’s camera roll as the application allow you to save the footage to the ‘FiLMiC library’ which can then by synced with iTunes.

The finished copy can then be quickly transported back to the newsroom using the share function, within the application, to upload to youtube or another social networking app. All of this can be done in a much more time effective way than having to set up your own camera gear or having a camera crew run around after you. On another positive note the smartphone can be put back into a pocket and the reporter will not have to worry about rushing back to the newsroom to edit. 

What makes all of this possible is the advancements within our mobile networks. We have moved from the age where we we would have internet connection as slow as dial up on a computer to internet connect connection such a 3G and now 4G. 4G allows you to connect to the internet in speeds faster than broadband at home. So it can even range in the London area up to 100 MB a second. So uploading whilst you are walking around is something you are able to do rather than being stuck in a office, meaning there will be be a smoother viewing experience with less buffering for news consumers streaming audio or video and it will also allow journalists in the field to send material faster.
Depending on a persons data usage a person can now upload multiple video files at once. 3G is still fast , with around 10 MB per second to upload. But in comparison to 4G this is not as a quick, it is about ten times slower. 

The Apple App Store has allowed the online market for apps to expand and journalists can now use a range of applications from FiLMiC Pro to iMovie. 

To record interviews and share them easily journalists can use SoundCloud. The app allows you to record audio and publish it to the public. The app uploads audio to a website, which allows you to share it easily. This can be a valuable tool for those wanting to do impromptu interviews and share them with Twitter followers. If you want to simply record audio for your own use, the iPhone comes with a built in audio recorder app.


Audioboo is a audio sharing App which is a free app to download like SoundCloud. Audioboo allows you to post audio clips to Twitter, Facebook and more. I think these apps are designed for preference, as the app market is so big competition is also. So it’s great for journalists as they can try all these useful apps that may enhance their career. 


A new app called Tagg.ly has been created to properly accredit and verify digital news footage. The app was made by Vice Media's Tim Pool, who reported from 2013's Istanbul protests using Google Glass. 
The application ‘Tagg.ly’, available for iOS, automatically stamps the author's name onto an image or video, alongside the date, time and location they were taken and a company logo. So before you upload the photo to social networking sites the photograph will have all the appropriate details and allow people to know the photo is yours. A very simple idea that will prove to be useful for journalists. 


The Evernote app provides journalists with a virtual notebook. It allows journalists to take handwritten notes, typed notes, save photos, set reminders, and create lists. Everything saved to Evernote is searchable, even handwriting. Some journalists also use it as an address book by taking pictures of business cards. The text is searchable, so it’s easy for journalists to quickly look up someone’s business card within the app.
Because the data is saved in a cloud journalists can access the same notes on their smartphone, computer or tablet in a matter of moments. You can even access information without internet connection. 

To stream live broadcast there is a useful website called Ustream. Ustream allows members to broadcast live streaming video on the Internet. Members can broadcast directly from the Ustream website or from a mobile device using Ustream's mobile broadcasting application which is available on iPhone and Android phones. Ustream members can also record and save videos for future broadcast distribution. Ustream's video platform allows viewers with different ways to interact with the presenter during a live broadcast, providing broadcasters with chat and instant polling features, as well as allowing integration with Twitter and Facebook news feeds. NASA even use this application to film the Earth for 24/7, which you are able to view on a smartphone. Depending on the connection, Ustream Broadcaster can be pretty choppy. But, for breaking news, even lower-quality real-time video can send a powerful message.

Many broadcasters and publications have made their own app for readers. People can now access the news from a mobile device or tablet and use online media or social platforms to access news stories or articles. Broadcasters and publishers have no choice but to incorporate the use of smart phones. The BBC app offers readers to engage with the news on their mobile phone. The app features breaking news stories, latest headlines, features and users can watch the Live BBC News Channel from their mobile device. Readers can use the  ‘edit’ menu to personalise what news they would like to read. 

Citizen journalism is encouraged by broadcasters as it provides journalists with more stories. On the BBC app people can send their story to the BBC. They can do this by using  ‘send photo’ and ‘send story’ buttons. 

iPhone reporting definitely gives reporters an answer to situations where filming with a big camera is not possible. Often reporters may find themselves in this situation a lot. Especially in meetings and fashion shows or anywhere with a big crowd. The iPhone has become a tool to document everything you see, and what a fabulous idea. 

The future of reporting may rely heavily on technology and how people are consuming technology. I believe citizen journalism will continue to expand, with the access to smartphones becoming increasingly easy, people will continue to share their pictures, videos and information about stories around the world. But whether or not video journalists will continue to use iPhones to capture footage may be questionable. The benefits of uploading the content quickly and it being of a good quality puts the idea of iPhone reporting in a good position. Whichever way journalism is moving, media outlets need to be innovative. The use of new technology will continue to be embraced by both readers and journalists. 

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