Using a smartphone as a reporting tool is a no brainer for today’s reporters. The days of tripods, heavy cameras, and tricky cords may soon be a thing of the past for multimedia journalists around the world. You see it all the time, eye witness news recorded by ordinary people catching extraordinary things in the blink of an eye.
Recently I’ve done some “iWitness” reporting of my own with the nationally acclaimed iPhone created by Apple. The story focuses on the journey of blind journalist, Billy Guevara. See story here. Although small, the smartphone was able to capture a wide variety of b-roll, and clearly pick up sound from a comfortable distance between the iPhone operator and whoever is in front of the camera.
With any package, you want to make sure that the story is not only being conveyed by the thoughts of the person being interviewed, but by the footage and voice overs that are added to the end result. To make the editing process easy, shots of Guevara and his guide dog were videotaped with the iPhone piece by piece to guarantee that that there would be ample b-roll that depicted the thoughts of the voice overs done by me as a reporter, that was later pieced together with the video editing program Final Cut Pro. The voice over tape that is heard throughout the package was recorded on the “Voice Memos” application that comes standard with every iPhone. After the script was recorded to the app., it was added to the video footage that was already placed onto Final Cut Pro.
All the footage and sound was saved on the iPhone, and uploaded onto a desktop with the USB cord that connects the phone to the computer. This new method of reporting is perfect for M.J.’s studying in college courses or professionals and even citizen journalists out in the field.
(Samii Noel Thompson is a journalism major at Texas Southern University)