Posts tagged mobile journalism
Last week, I was working with the RTÉ team at MoJoCon in Galway, Ireland. For the event’s live-streamed interviews, RTÉ set up a multi-camera TV studio. But, being MoJoCon, there was one major twist…
MoJoCon brings together broadcasters, journalists, filmmakers and social media specialists from around the world. Now in its third year, the event explores how new technologies – from smartphones to 360-degree cameras – are revolutionising the way we tell stories on television and online.
As was appropriate for a show focusing on mobile tech and the media, the RTÉ pop-up TV studio from which we live-streamed our interviews was powered by mobile.
It’s an impressive setup: the five studio cameras were Apple iPhone 6s plus smartphones, each kitted with superb quality Zeiss ExoLens lenses mounted on a Helium Core iPhone Rig; the vision mixing and encoding was handled by Teradek Live:Air running on an Apple iPad Pro 12.9 tablet.
For day-long power and belts and braces connectivity, the devices were hard-wired to Ethernet, although a wireless setup is perfectly possible too. I would say the only non-mobile component of the studio was the sound: traditional XLR-connected lavalier mics supplied a standard mixing desk, the master output of which fed into one of the mobile devices from which the Teradek software took its audio feed.
Here’s a clip from the end of day two where my co-host, the lovely Róisín Ní Thomáin, and I embarked on a quick studio tour.
Over two days of the show, Róisín and I interviewed some inspiring broadcasters, journalists and innovators including BBC Sport’s Conor McNamara, Story-Up’s Sarah Hill and Video Journalist Michael Rosenblum. The topics we covered were as broad as How to be an App Store Millionnaire, to The Evolution of 360, VR and AR Storytelling.
September is one of the busiest periods in the technology calendar as manufacturers race to announce and release the consumer products they hope will make their Christmas a happy one.
Not only a great time of year to be working in technology but a great time to be reporting on it too. Over the last few weeks I’ve joined the technology desk at International Business Times UK to report on breaking news from Apple, Samsung, Sony and more.
Alongside announcements of new smartphones, tablets and watches I wrote about topics as diverse as Virtual Reality video and fallen enterprise mobile player Blackberry and its attempts to remain relevant.
However, I want to share a couple of video stories here. First up is my bite-sized take on the major announcements at IFA 2015:
New smartphone announcements by Apple are a highlight for many tech-watchers but, frankly, they do go on a bit. I produced an extremely cut-down version of the Apple press conference revealing everything you need to know in roughly three minutes – saving you about an hour and forty minutes of your life.
Mobile newsgathering has come of age.
Broadcasters and journalists know it, entertainment and social networks know it, unwitting citizen news-breakers and proud parents catching their 5-yo master their bicycle know it too.
Recently I wrote a feature for TechRadar on how mobile journalism will impact media coverage of the UK general election.
In the feature I speak to key mobile newsgathering practitioners from BBC, Sky News and Trinity Mirror to learn the role of mobile in the newsroom. Contributors (to whom I’m incredibly grateful) include Nick Garnett, Marc Settle, Harriet Hadfield and Alison Gow.
This came off the back of participating in MoJoCon 2015 in Dublin, the first international conference of its kind for mobile journalism and smartphone filmmaking.
Mojocon proved to the industry that mobile newsgathering – in all its forms – is now a primetime tool. It’s no longer a case of ‘why would you use a smartphone for video/audio/broadcast?’, it’s simply ‘why the the hell wouldn’t you?’.
Hosted by the Irish public service broadcaster RTÉ and attended by journalists and filmmakers from across the world, MoJoCon was a celebration of smartphone creativity and newsgathering ingenuity. It was the brainchild of mobile journalism pioneer and activist Glen Mulcahy.
I was particularly involved in the professional smartphone filmmaking stream, including hosting a session in the main hall featuring luminaries such as Neill Barham, boss man and Cinegenix, developer of go-to iOS videography app FiLMiC Pro (in my questioning I successfully ‘outed’ an upcoming and long-awaited Android version of the app); Taz Goldstein, author of Hand Held Hollywood (a book I downloaded when I first began filming on my phone); Newsshooter.com editor Dan Chung, and mobile film directors Conrad Mess, Michael Koerbel and Ricky Fosheim. You can watch the full session here.
— David McClelland (@DavidMcClelland) March 29, 2015
Head over to TechRadar to read my feature on mobile journalism and the UK General Election 2015 and keep an eye out on the Mojocon Twitter feed for more details on the next Mojo Conference.
*** LATEST NEWS *** I am joining the presenting team full-time for the all-new Planet of the Apps from summer 2014. Full update to follow.
Planet of the Apps is the top show on television for mobile apps and technology, and I’ve been a regular guest throughout this series.
Hosted by Adam Savage and produced by Ginx TV, Planet of the Apps airs on Challenge (Freeview channel 46) every Sunday at 10am. On Sunday 29th December I’ll be joining Adam on the sofa once again to review all that’s been good and great in tech during 2013.
This season I’ve appeared talking about how the Internet of Things will change our world, flying the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 quadricopter around Wormwood Scrubs and showing off what a professional smartphone filmmaking rig looks like:
Tune in to Planet of the Apps on Challenge on Sunday 29th December at 10am, or watch the repeat at 1am.
Earlier this month I was commissioned by CNET to write a couple of features on making high-def movies with a smartphone.
The first of those features, How to make HD movies on your iPhone 4 or 4S, went live yesterday and right now I’m working on an equivalent how to make movies feature for Android based on the Samsung Galaxy S3 – watch this space.
In my iPhone feature I mention recently launched service called Newsflare. As mobile journalism (‘MoJo’) is a particular interest of mine, I find the Newflare concept very interesting indeed. The Newsflare app lets you upload video footage from your iPhone, either on-spec or in response to an ‘assignment’, which Newsflare will then try to sell to a media outlet for you (obviously taking a cut of your cash for their troubles).
I haven’t submitted anything yet to Newsflare, but I’m certainly curious to give it a go. I’m not at all convinced that it poses a serious threat to professional video journalists and cameramen but I suspect it could lead to more of the ‘good enough’ shots of breaking new stories airing before professional news crews arrive to capture broadcast quality footage.
A shot in the arm for citizen journalism?
I simply must share this delightful video and post by mobile journalism practitioner and trainer Glen Mulcahy.
Filmed and edited entirely on iPhone and iPad this short video really shows off the high-quality output that is achievable from iPhone video with the right accessories and workflow.
Of course, while I tend to get excited about the technology and the tools here it’s very easy to forget the critical role of the film-maker. Hand over a top quality camera and software to somebody who doesn’t have a story to tell nor know how to tell it and the result will very likely be uninteresting, no matter how technically steady or clear the picture and sound are.
The message is that the technology itself ultimately should be transparent to the viewer; these tools are there only to help realise and deliver the story-teller’s vision.
That said Glen Mulcahy, a Production Development Manager and Trainer for RTÉ in Ireland, is very much an expert in story-telling too and the work he does within the Mobile Journalism community to develop and share new workflows and technologies is inspired.
If this field of work interests you I urge you to check out Glen’s Mulcahy’s blog for his video and mobile journalism technology news and thoughts.