Mobile phone as a tool of reporting
May 30th, 2010

Report on session on “Mobile Phone as a Tool for Reporting” at the Global Voices Citizen Media Summit in Santiago, Chile starting off the discussion with the question of whether SMS is useful for reporters. SMS can be particularly useful when combined with other media. Many community radio stations in Haiti have used SMS to effectively provide a feedback mechanism from the general population.

Next is explored how SMS can be used effectively as a information delivery mechanism. Rural farmers for example, can receive weather, price, and farming information.

Also discussed are the things that bloggers and reporters with smartphones and robust data connections can do.

There is much opportunity for reporters and citizen journalists to use mobile phones as multimedia devices. Citizen reporters used mobiles to capture the protests in the aftermath of the Iranian election last year: one iconic video even won a prestigious Journalism award this year. Journalism students used mobile phone software to capture videos, edit them, and upload reports about the 2010 Olympics just from their phones. Today’s camera phones are quite sophisticated and can take up to 8 megapixel photos. Innovative tools like picPosterous can help reporters by uploading photos the instant they are taken (as long as there is a data connection) to the web, so they will still be accessible even if the cameraphone is confiscated.

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