In my MA Online Journalism session this week I’ll be looking at mobile journalism. As part of that, below I’ve compiled 4 lists of things I think a mobile journalist needs: hardware, software, systems, and mindset. I’d welcome anything you can add to this.
In the spirit of mobile journalism, I will also be streamed the session live on Bambuser from 9am UK time on Thursday, for around 45 mins – if you can join us online and chip in, please do. I’ve embedded the player below (skip past it for the lists of things a mojo needs).
A note from the comments
Some comments rightfully point out that this list is potentially terrifying. I’m not suggesting you need all these things – my favourite response said that you needed a Posterous blog, a smartphone, and lots of batteries, and I’d go along with that. But here are a whole lot of potential things to explore when you get itchy…
Mobile journalism – hardware
- Smartphone with camera, video, audio, unlimited data plan
- Digital camcorder, e.g. Flip, Kodak Zi8
- Digital dictaphone or Zoom (a Livescribe pen is also useful)
- Portable mic
- Portable mini tripod?
- Batteries (including extra mobile phone battery)
- Extension lead – and chargers
- Portable chargers, e.g. solar
- Bluetooth keyboard
- Mifi and/or 3G dongle
- Eyefi card
- Wifi laptop or netbook with webcam
Mobile journalism – the software
- Apps for your phone and services you can email or text to. Good ones include…
- Spinvox – blog via voice
- Twibble – GPS twitter updates
- Zyb – synchronise contacts and calendar
- Opera Mini; on iPhone use bookmarklets on Safari like ‘Read Later’, ‘Post with Tweetie’, ‘Save to Delicious’, ‘Share on Tumblr’
- Qik, Bambuser, 12seconds – streaming video
Posterous– blog via email (shutting down April 2013)
- ZoneTag – geotag images
- JoikuSpot – create wifi hotspot from 3G phone
- Google Maps
Mobile journalism – the systems
- Email must be set up – more than one account as backup (Google Mail occasionally goes down)
- Useful phone no.s, e.g. Twitter, Twitterfone
- Useful emails, e.g. Twitpic, YouTube, Twittermail, Facebook, Posterous etc.
- Map of wifi hotspots
- Map of mobile and 3G coverage
- Blog via email or text – Postie plugin/Posterous/app/etc.
- Pulling RSS feeds from Twitter/Flickr/YouTube/Posterous/Tumblr/Google Docs
- Embedded players for livestreaming/liveblogging
- Geotagging information for mapping
- Preparation: web-based video/audio/image editors
- Collaboration – preparing the users, hashtags, tweeting, feedback
Mobile journalism – the mindset
- ‘Always-on’ approach – tweet on the go; share images; stream quick video. Think humour, art, quirky, as much as ‘news’. Prepare yourself and users for when you need it.
- Play with new mobile tools – follow TechCrunch etc.
- Try out mobile apps
- Find the stories that are not online
- Be part of a mobile community – follow people like @documentally @alisongow @ilicco @patphelan @moconews
- Be creative with mobile, not formulaic: the rules aren’t written yet