Journalists often use smartphones to record good quality audio and video, broadcast live, cut and file packages and file and text images. iPhone is a vital journalistic tool because it has built-in camera for both stills and video, Voice Memos app for recording audio, a qwerty keyboard for writing text and GPS to pinpoint your location. The apps make it easier to broadcast your work to social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
One of the best examples of a reporter using his iPhone to tell a story was Syria: Songs of Defiance, a film by Yasir Khan – when an undercover Al Jazeera correspondent produced a compelling first-person account of Syria in turmoil and a revolution in progress.
Why is it so strong:
1. Al Jazeera’s cameras were banned and the only thing a reporter could use was his mobile phone
2. The reporter blended in with the rest of people and produced images that he probably couldn’t do otherwise
3. He met resistance fighters, protesters, revolutionaries and former Syrian army soldiers who agreed to do interviews with him and tell us their stories
4. He participated in the protests and gained trust of ordinary people
5. Through his photographs and videos we can feel the danger, not just see it
6. The package is rough and raw, but also very real. It allowed him to “discreetly videotape events of genuine importance.”
7. The pictures are wobbly and some are out of focus, but in my opinion, it adds up to the story and makes it more compelling
8. This is the first time an iPhone-filmed documentary has been aired on television.
It’s always about journalism and whatever technical equipment you can use to make it happen. But it’s always got to be about the journalism, it’s got to be about the story,” said Nick Garnett, BBC 5 live‘s North of England correspondent, who has done more than 5, 5000 broadcasts on the radio station and many of them using his smartphone.