Mobile Journalism (MoJo)

Its been three years since I read a press release from Nokia outlining a partnership programme that had been developed with Reuters to explore the use of Mobile phones (smart phones) in journalism. At the time I bought and trialled a paralell project using the Nokia N93 – (as shown) the reason I preferred the N93 over the N95 that Reuters used was the ergonomics – It felt like a mini palmcorder in video mode. Cyril O’Regan – a very experienced and tecnically savvy cameraman/editor undertook to shoot a “typical news package” with the N93 and the results were pretty good. We didnt get to try the Nokia adapter cable that allowed the use of a professional (balanced) external mic so we had to make do with the camera mic- but the focus of the test was to see how viable the picture quality was for transmission. Ustream and Qik were in the mix at the time and we also trialled streaming live from the phone to the internet. The potential was apparent from the get-go but feedback from programme editors suggested the pictures werent good enough quality for broadcast except in the most profound breaking news scenario (when any pictures even VHS would be viable!). So the project was shelved- the idea of streaming live to the web wasn’t considered seriously. Nowadays- if I had a genie and could wish for one thing (ok three things 1. 10 million euro, 2. World peace 😉 and 3. a wi-fi bridge that would allow me to pull HD video from my iPhone 4 into my iPad so I could edit it on the bigger screen – the I would really start the adoption of the iPhone as a true mobile shoot/edit platform. I know, I know I could buy a macbook air for a few Euros more than an iPad and pull the video in with a usb cable – but hey this IS a WISHLIST OK!!

Every now and again I revisit the idea – I was like a kid on Christmas morning when I got my first iPhone- and as with most new users I set about filling it with the most ridiculous array of apps – that became the basis if typical exchanges with fellow techies…'”Have you got the fart sounds app – No did you download the Star Wars light Sabre??” – now I blush at the profound geekiness of it all. When real value apps started to appear I quickly purged my selection of idle cr-apps and started to install worthwhile ones instead. Ive added some videos to VODPOD (videos on left) from a company called Vericorder – they have an app that allows in phone editing of video.

So how long before someone tries to shoot a news package for transmission on the iPhone – don’t waste your time- Its been done already on the 3Gs anyway…

Ive just got my hands on the iPhone4 and the HTC desire so Ill be shooting some test material and will keep you posted on the results.


About vjmentor
Innovation Lead, RTÉ | VJ & MoJo (Mobile Journalism) Trainer -Circom Regional | Photographer | HDSLR shooter| Views are strictly personal, not those of my employer.

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