Smartphones – Speeding Up Journalism

I could be on the top of a mountain right now.

I could be on a train, or walking down Coventry City Centre. I could even be asleep while orbiting the earth. I could elaborate upon every possible location and activity and continue to exaggerate further, but the point is that Journalism in the modern era, for the young modern journalist, is simply amazing. The main reason is the invention of the smart phone – a device that falls between phone and laptop and allows a journalist to resource and report at almost any opportunity.

Divided into the main categories of the Apple iPhone, Android and Windows phones, almost all devices have the ability to record high quality sound and footage, take detailed photos and have access to email, documents, blogging websites and social networking sites.

Writes Jon Dudley…

Were I to be in the situation where, for example, a building had collapsed and injured several people, I could set about with my smartphone (personally, Android Samsung Galaxy S) and phone the emergency services. The next capability I have is access to the internet at any given time, and a wealth of applications that enable fully functional journalism without the need of extra equipment or crew. I could take a few photos of the scene with my camera, use video or sound recording to interview witnesses and record police statements, and then distribute the knowledge through social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, or log directly onto CU Today and upload the media and write an article on the situation.

And yet, there is more.

Email functions would allow me to send the article directly to local or national news, allowing me to give the breaking details as and when needed. The difference between having the news in your hands and having the news in the editors hands is phenomenal – a story is of no use if it cannot be published in time. Access to the web allows research and background information to be delivered instantly, and can give depth or useful information to a story in seconds. In the fallen building example, what a difference the story would have if I researched and found out that the building had previously been reported as unstable.

So that explains how I could be at any location and distributing journalistic articles, but does not explain how I could be asleep. Functions on both my phone and WordPress allow me to write an article at any given time and give the news out at a time most suitable. For example, if I was to be writing an article from abroad, setting a publishing time would allow me to cater for the GMT timezones.

Without all of this technology available in a pocket or a handbag, journalism would not be progressing as fast as it is. Where vast amounts of recording equipment and a professional team was once needed for any story, any journalist at any time can report the news if they know where to look for a story, and the public can get the information as soon as it becomes available.

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