On a lovely summer’s day in Geneva, I saw up close the power of mobile journalism. I was training a number of journalists across Europe in how to shoot video for news on their iPhones. We were at the Eurovision Academy at the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and I had just sent the participants out on their first filming exercise.
Without warning a freak storm swept through Geneva. Trees were blown over onto cars and for a few minutes it was like we were in some kind of tropical hurricane. Naturally, all the journalists had their iPhones ready and started filming. It was over as quickly as it started, but it was dramatic.
Being from various broadcasters across Europe, the participants fed their iPhone video footage back to their newsrooms. Many of them are used to filming with big,expensive cameras or having a camera operator film for them. Any discussions about the merit of learning to shoot quality video on the iPhone went away. By the end of the day the trainees footage had been on 5 national broadcasters. Everyone could see that the best camera in any situation is the camera you have on you.
Newsrooms have dozens of journalists walking around with an amazing tool that can gather video, audio and photographs. It can feed them back to base and can be used for live radio or tv reporting.
It amazes me that so many journalists do not know how to shoot quality video using the HD camera in their smartphones. It is also surprising how many big broadcasters do not have a clear workflow for what a journalist does to feed material in a break news situation.
A few years ago it would cost a fortune to shoot video and edit video in the field and feed it back. I am glad many journalists are mastering how to gather with their smartphones, I just think EVERY journalist should be able to shoot and edit video content in case they are ever in the right place at the right time.
To sign up to the news Eurovision Academy course on shooting for news on the iPhone, click here: