Mobile Reporting Tools for Journalists

What does mobile journalism mean, exactly?

Aren’t journalists by nature constantly on the run?

Yes, but in this case we’re talking about using mobile devices to gather news, report news, post news, and FIND news.

Wikipedia defines Mobile Reporting as such:

“Mobile Reporting is a trend emerging in the field of news and content generation.[1][2] The term describes the use of a mobile phone as a reporting tool. The user creates text, photo and video that combined produces a multimedia based report. The content is edited on the phone before being uploaded to the internet via mobile network or Internet connection.[3] Usually mobile reporting is used for publishing to the web.[4] This is particularly the case with video as the technology does not yet allow for the production of high end video. However, the low quality is suitable for Internet.

Mobile reporting is particularly relevant in areas that lack modern Internet infrastructure (Sub Sahara Africa,[5][6] Central Asia, South America, Latin America).[7] The mobile phone is low in cost when compared to more traditional reporting equipment.”

And it seems that entire news organizations are falling over themselves to get ahead of the curve when it comes to making news specifically for mobile devices:

One blog I found offers a Top Ten List for “Mobile”First” Journalism based on a Poynter Mobile First Workshop.

Another blogger named Steve Buttry, who calls himself a Digital Transformation Editor, is calling on all news organizations to some up with a mobile first strategy.

mobile reporting field guide

The Mobile Reporting Field Guide is available for free on iTunes and has video and audio samples to show the quality of different apps and equipment.

By far one of the most useful items I’ve found is a book created by a group of Berkeley Journalism Graduate students, who spent a summer testing out apps and equipment for reporting on an iPhone.

Their book, called A Mobile Reporting Field Guide, reviews dozens of apps for recording, editing and sharing audio and video.

The book ends on a high note with a suggested Mobile Reporter Toolkit.


Every journalist needs to be thinking about how they can boost their smartphone’s capability to make good news.


About Anna Kalfa

Anna teaches Digital Journalism at BCIT in Vancouver, BC. She is fascinated with the future of journalism, and the intersection between information and technology as the industry makes leaps and bounds into the digital age.

Posted on February 24, 2014, in Resources. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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