The importance of smartphones to journalists has sprouted from barely important to having articles dedicated to the device such as ‘Top 5 mobile phones for journalists’ and ‘5 ways journalists can use smartphones for reporting’ along with the commercial birth of touch-screen mobile devices.
Oscar Westlund wrote that mobile phones have “enhanced the possibilities for journalists to work and report from the field”. The internet empowered journalists to be more efficient and convenient in terms of accessible tools. Journalists could also provide live blogging and live video streaming services other than their traditional reporting through their mobile phones.
Journalists – equipped with improved network coverage, tools for sound, video and text condensed in one portable device basically have all they need to report and publish in any scene directly. The growth in use of mobile phones have prompted global news organisations such as Reuters and BBC to offer training courses for their journalists to become mobile journalists (Mo-jo’s) to prepare for a significant area of growth with news content prepared and delivered through a mobile phone.
BBC has compiled a playlist on how to produce quality news content with your smartphone.
A Deakin study conducted by Paul Bethell revealed that the integrating the emerging use of mobile phone among journalism students – who will be the next generation of news incorporators – in conjunction with traditional journalism skills will better prepare students to be digitally efficient in generating content to satisfy the growing mobile phone market in their working lives.
During political unrest, mobile phones are essential to a reporter for every day communication tasks to source information, fact-check and form communities through networking apps such as WeChat and WhatsApp. Such apps acts as the most important digital tools to interact with sources and audiences privately as examined in China and Hong Kong.
Chat apps has morphed interactions between audiences and journalists in physical and digital space in a more granular and larger context.
In conclusion, most articles highlighted that mobile journalism has potentially increased the speed and efficiency of news production. Smartphones equipped with the internet has generally allowed journalists to produce news stories with photos an video clips straight from the scene which allowed quick and accurate access for the public.