As Snowstorm Juno trampled through Suffolk County, Long Island, Newsday’s Community Journalist, Amy Onorato, triumphed when reporting on Juno’s plunder via microblogging-suitable websites like Twitter. In a flash, Onorato, a Stony Brook University School of Journalism graduate and former web producer at Long Island Business News, used what she had at her disposal: an iPhone, her car and a love for journalism, to report the storm as she saw it.
What makes for good mobile journalism?
1. A go-anywhere, do-anything mentality
Onorato goes anywhere and talks to everyone, and anyone, about the story. Seen across her Twitter feed and Instagram posts, Onorato gives a her followers real-time, live coverage of #theBlizzardof2015.
2. The name behind the photo
Onorato always names her photo and video subjects. This is not only an excellent journalism principle but also allows the viewer to relate to the photo. Capturing someone’s face is also key.
3. Turning low tech into high performance
Armed with only an iPhone, Onorato appeals to the visual beings that we are with well-composed photos and videos. She also gives a realistic perspective to her reporting, often taking pictures from the dashboard of her car giving the viewer the illusion they are seeing it first hand.
Twitter doesn’t leave much to the imagination, especially when Onorato is as concise and clear as she usually is — all with text under 140-characters. In a single tweet, she gets her brief point across while leaving the viewer informed.
5. Properly categorized, easily found
Often people categorizes tweets by means of hashtagging. Onorato uses the appropriate hashtag within her post to let Twitter-users that are not following her know what she has to say. For instance, a commuter would know from her tweet what roads to use and which not to use by looking up #theblizzardof2015 or #lisnow, both Onorato used when covering the snowstorm. When properly categorized, tweets are found swiftly.