Autor: Redaktion

Mobile Journalism

Everything about mobile journalism.

With the evolution of  smartphones, people now have a camera, microphone, editing and color correction suite, broadcast center and much more in the palm of their hand. It offers media producers the opportunity to produce and distribute video clips, contributions or entire films at low cost, simply, quickly and straight to online platforms. 

The Technology

A mid-priced smartphone with a good camera and 64gb-128GB of memory is sufficient. Remember on Android phones additional memory can be added cheaply via microSD cards, but make sure that the memory cards are fast enough to record video at higher frame rates, as well as compatible with the phone.  For higher quality acquisition add an external microphone, a usable (clamp) tripod and a mobile charger or external battery. Of course there are a lot of other accessories, but the big advantage of mobiles is the ability to tell stories without being weighed down with acccessories.

The Software

App stores are awash with software for producing media. Where once iOS apps dominiated, Android now has many apps to choose from. On iOS devices, the programs FiLMiC Pro and ProCam 3 are particularly popular for recording in addition to the iPhone’s preinstalled camera software. For cutting, Apple customers can use the preinstalled iMovie or use Voodio (Audio and Video), Pinnacle Studio, and Snapseed. Popular iOS audio editing programs are iRig, Hindenburg and Ferrite.  On Android devices, the Camera FV-5, Camera MX or Open Camera apps are available for capture, while editing software includes Kinemaster, VideoShow or Adobe Premiere Clip. Audio recording and audio editing are often done with the Field Recorder, the RecForge II Pro Audio Recorder and the Audio Evolution Mobile Studio.

The Delivery

A number of commercial solutions are available for the transfer of material from the field back to base. These include Aspera, Dropbox and Signiant. Additionally several broadcasters have deployed in-house tools, or are in the process of developing them, to manage the movement of materials from phones directly into the broadcasters media asset management systems.

In our article "News Reporter Apps" (in the DELIVER section) we cover this more extensively.

Tips and Tricks

Turn on the flight mode before recording. This prevents an incoming call from interfering with the recording.

Don’t forget to clean the lens. It’s an easy way to improve the picture quality.

Always try to record a test clip first, to check the lighting and sound conditions, remember you haven’t got the luxury of a full broadcast camera in your hands – so adjustments are limited. Some times you may have to move a subject to make the most of the natural lighting conditions.

Always film in landscape format, as it’s 16:9 and will work with normal broadcast output. Exceptions to this rule  are contributions to Snapchat or Facebook Live, when you are only producing for playback on a smartphone.

Titelbild: Von User:Matthias Süßen - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 4.0,

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