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Advanced Mobile Phones Enhance Journalists’ Efficiency

出自香港新聞網 - 樹仁新傳系學生實習習作

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Stephen Quinn, the Digital Development Editor of South China Morning Post, today introduced how advanced mobile phones help journalists to do their reports in a faster, cheaper and more convenience way.

Joe Ng

“The text online is not enough,” said Stephen, “The audiences want more. They want multi-media.”

Traditionally, to do a live video broadcasting, a TV station needs to send a crew car and a standard crew, which involves at least three people, an engineer who set up the transmitter, a cameraman who hold the heavy and bulky camera [cameras are inanimate objects; they can not be smart or stupid], and a reporter who do the live report and helps carry the equipment.

Today, doing a video report needs just one person. Since all the equipment, like a camera, a video recorder and a transmitter are all compressed into a smart-phone. According to Stephen, for a backpack journalist, what a standard kit involved are a book-sized metal frame for holding and stabilizing the phone, an extra lens for a better resolution, a small microphone, a rechargeable lamp, a tripod and, of course, a bag for putting all these things inside. Even a child can carry them.

Some software can help journalists to do their reports faster. A software called Vericoder allows journalists to do reports by using an i-Phone or an i-Pad. Vericoder’s multi-track editing function helps journalists to do reports in forms of slide shows, videos and radio broadcasts easily. Journalists can then upload the reports edited immediately. Stephen said that the speed of finishing the whole reporting process, from setting up the equipment to finishing the editing, could roughly be shortened to 14 minutes, compared with 25 minutes by using the traditional way.

Stephen also shared another software called Dragon Diction. This voice recognition software, just like the Siri of i-Phone 4s, dictates what the journalist said into the phone. The journalist can send the report dictated back to the agency as a message, enhancing the speed of reporting.

The new kit costs about one thousand US dollars. That is much cheaper than the traditional one. Actually, there is an even cheaper way for citizens to do reports, being a pocket journalist who does reports by just using a mobile phone or a smart-phone; or saving money by using free software online, wi-fi, and streaming the videos to free online platforms. Stephen believes, “great journalism is not about the tools but the brain using the tools.”

[This is a great article. It is clearly focused on the different ways that Mobile Phones can help journalists. Your opening paragraph, describing the difference between how things were then and how they are now, was a great inclusion.]

[Grade: B+]

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