Wednesday 31 July 2013

Mobile Journalism

Here's a good example of how journalists can use their mobile phone to help tell stories. It involves my work iPhone and a huge fire in Sheffield.

As I was about to cycle home from work in Sheffield city centre on Sunday 14th July I got a message from a friend with a photo of a big fire in Sheffield. I turned my back and saw behind me a huge thick black smoke cloud coming from the East of the city so (being a journalist!) I cycled towards it. After calling the newsroom to let them know, I took some photos on my phone and tweeted them and before long I was broadcasting live on my phone, describing the huge smoke cloud which was continuing to grow. I used the Google Maps app to find out which road I was on and then looked for updates on Twitter. South Yorkshire Fire Service were tweeting that the fire was at a plastic recycling centre in Attercliffe and that people nearby should stay indoors – this allowed me to update our audience live with the latest news. When I got closer to the scene I saw one of my old colleagues at ITV Calendar filming the fire and decided to do the same with my iPhone and I then uploaded the video to the BBC Look North system. Next, I recorded vox pops on my phone and sent them back to BBC Radio Sheffield to be used on air.
So in summary I used my work iPhone to call the newsroom to let them know about the story, broadcast live, record studio quality vox pops, take photos which I tweeted, find out the name of the road I was broadcasting from, check Twitter for updates from South Yorkshire Fire Service and record video for Look North.

In order to do our job as well as possible, journalists need to become really comfortable with using our phones to help us tell stories. 

You can listen to my first update below...