futurejournalism · multimedia

Mobile reporting and journalism students

Imagine that you had everything you needed to edit, combine and file text, images, sound without buying a new PDA or phone. Imagine still that you could edit and file live and recorded video streams and produce and publish multimedia stories of broadcast quality with that same phone.

The Nokia Research Centre has created this application, which was trialled by Reuters journalists. (Check out some of their US election coverage using the application). Now they are looking to journalists of the future and trialling a further refined version of the technology with RMIT students (one reason why I am so excited by this). We plan to have students replicate a newsroom experience, through a new subject naturally called Converged Newsroom – which will see students filing for a student newspaper and website.

So what exactly does this application do? It uses the multimedia capabilities already available in existing smart phones (yes it can be adapted for phones other nokia phones) and combines these to produce a toolkit that allows the journalist to produce and file high-end multimedia content from the road. This enables not only immediate filing of news, but also the ability to provide multimedia rich coverage.

The implications for the reporting of journalism are huge, but what it also has implications for the consumption of news. A central question that is plaguing the media industry is how will new content be delivered. Many have looked to the iPhone as a saviour, while other have pinned their hopes on Amazon’s Kindle – with an equal number of detractors. But surely the development of reporting tools for a handheld or mobile device is moving towards a sustainable way to consume mobile news. I, for one, am resigned to the fact that the innovation needed to ensure relevant and vibrant journalism of the future will not come from media organisations.

Students are already comfortable with mobile technology – if not limited by the exorbidant data fees in Australia. They will be the drivers not only of the reporting, but of the consumption.

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