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mobile journalism and generation .txt -- does it work?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Herbert Anchovy, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. Herbert Anchovy

    Herbert Anchovy Active Member

    Was talking to a friend the other day and he has left a pretty good lifestyles gig to take a whack at mobile journalism or "mojo," which emphasizes the mobile unit as the principal tool for a field reporter.

    Basically, your ass hits the streets and you look for news as it develops instantaneously, mobile device in hand. When received at the news desk server, the story is customized for a number of media vehicles, including print and electronic media. It was described as something that recentralizes media communication after it's been decentralized by the Internet.

    I remember reading something about this after the South Carolina primary. Not sure how I feel about it, but I can't help feeling the handheld device is the future -- even as cheesy as it sounds on the surface. There's speed and power behind this idea, and newspapers really don't offer either anymore.
  2. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    i can see a place for it, but i'm not really sure how the reporting process works. if you wander around new york city or washington, d.c., with your mobile device, you might witness some news. but if you wander around 90 percent of the rest of the cities in the united states, you're unlikely to stumble into news other than maybe a traffic accident. never in my entire life have i accidentally stumbled upon a news event other than a car accident.
  3. PopeDirkBenedict

    PopeDirkBenedict Active Member

    I'm guessing that if this succeeds (and it will), it won't be as "reporters wander aimlessly looking for news" as much as it will be a tool for these reporters to quickly and easily send stories from breaking news. You don't wander the streets of New York looking for the next terrorist attack, but if one happens you can be on the scene and filing live reports in minutes. My guess is that this will spread quickly among big time papers who have the budget to outfit their reporters with extremely high class handhelds and the website capabilities to use it right.
  4. Almost_Famous

    Almost_Famous Active Member

    If i were building a reporting team at a newspaper (a team of 10 news reporters, for instance), I'd equip my reporters with Treos/blackberries. And theN I'd set up a generic email ring - 'reporters' - where if one person sends an email, all 10 get it.
    Great way to be coordinated, and a great way to not double up on assignments when breaking news happens.

    In the flash of one email, you can have one guy going to the police station, one guy doorknocking relatives, another doorknocking the coaches, and another doing whatever.

    Guy A gets a quote from one house and while in the drive, emails it in. the dominoes begin to fall, the story slowly gets put together in rapid fashion.
  5. Desk_dude

    Desk_dude Member

    At the Spiderman ride at Universal Studios, you ride the Scoop in pursuing news.
  6. Herbert Anchovy

    Herbert Anchovy Active Member

    A_F, Pope, I agree. This is going to be prevalent by 2025.

    On an unrelated note, I worked with a dude who once filed a 20-inch gamer via text message from his high-end cell phone because the laptop was fucked up. Still one of the damnedest things I've ever seen in the biz.
  7. PopeDirkBenedict

    PopeDirkBenedict Active Member

    Wow. I have a hard enough time typing "Lunch?" in my cell phone text messaging. That takes talent.
  8. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    yeah...for mobile reporting to work everyone nees a treo or blackberry style keyboard on their phone. the current system of text messaging is way too unwieldy for any substantive communication. seems like the treo/blackberry and a few others like that are becoming increasingly prevalent. i've seen a lot more of them in recent months than i used to -- and it's not just people in offices any more who have the full keypads. i think once they make them a little smaller and lighter everyone will get one.
  9. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    How the hell would you file a 20-inch gamer via text? My phone's limited to 130 or so characters per text message. I'd hate to get to the end of my story then realize I had to change the lede.
  10. Herbert Anchovy

    Herbert Anchovy Active Member

    This guy had a very expensive cell phone. Like as much as they run. I wouldn't know the faintest fucking thing about them as I still do not own even a Trac phone -- I have told my mother she will have to place a cell phone in my dead right hand at the Irish wake.

    What was staggering about the guy's feat was that (a) the copy was spotless and (b) it was an overtime game and he was really pressed for time and (c) he is poor sighted. Had a beer with that dude about a month ago and we asked him to retell the story. I still can't believe it.
  11. I do that from time to time with my Nokia Communicator. It has a fold-out keyboard and, while it is pretty much hunt and peck when it comes to typing, it is helpful.

    Another instance where it came in handy was when I was having a bear of a time finding a Wi-Fi cloud and couldn't keep a connection on my cell phone, so I typed up a story on my laptop in Word and beamed it to my Nokia and then copied it into an email that I sent from the phone.

    While I love the latest gadgets for newsgathering, the one thing I always have with me whether on-duty or note is my little black notebook and pencil. With that and a cell phone, all stories can be instantly reported and filed quickly.
  12. Almost_Famous

    Almost_Famous Active Member

    This is probably happening now, in 2006. Either at websites, magazines, or newspapers.
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