Mobile Journalism is gaining ground these days in different parts of the world and we are going to write a series of entries or posts in this blog about this thing for the next one month. We feel fascinated with this new branch of media that is taking its shape and there is every possibility that it will become a driving force within 5-10 years. This is the first blog post about this topic in Tekbi.com and S.M. Mehdi Hassan and Biplob Kishore Deb are also going to join with their own posts very soon. This post is like an introduction to all the posts that we are going to publish here.
Changing times for media
Just think of 100 years ago and if you were alive in the year 1912, the only source of getting news would have been printed newspapers. There were movies and of course books but the main goal of making a film or publishing a book never was and still not to give you the news. Then came radio and after that television. When people more or less felt settled with printed newspapers, radio and television- Internet came into existence. Internet has already taken a large pie of readership and advertising money from the printed newspapers. Online journalism has already gained a lot of ground. Now, we have started to talk about mobile journalism.
This post is not aimed to provide any definition of the term ‘mobile journalism’. We hope to do it in a later date in a later post. We hope to get experts’ opinion about its definition. For the time being, let us just assume that by ‘mobile journalism’ we are indicating the use of mobile (smart) phones in collecting and giving (broadcasting and publishing) the news (report, interviews, breaking news etc).
Potential is rich
To the best of my knowledge, no large scale research has still been carried out about the potential of mobile journalism. We still do not know how many journalists are using smart phones to bring news for the people in the United States let alone the whole world. However, there is no doubt about its potential. I just got an iPhone 3GS last week and I am really excited with the things that can be done with it. When I go to a press conference, I have to take a photographer with me to take pictures. With this iPhone, not only I can take still images but also record videos, record audio and take interviews.
The quality is not bad and the quality is enough for me to post the things in a website or a blog, in YouTube or for a podcast. Even I can easily type a short report of 300-400 words in this iPhone. So, there is no need to carry a laptop or a netbook to type my report. I can just type the report and send it by email or even upload in a blog.
Still early days
Yes, I am excited about the things that I can do with the iPhone but at the same time, I know that many journalists would still not feel excited like me. I don’t blame them either. If you are working in a TV channel then you know very well that iPhone video cannot compete with the video quality of a simple digital camera of Canon or Nikon. Typing in the small screen of smart phone requires a lot of patience. A picture taken from an iPhone or Blackberry is may be enough for uploading in your blog but not enough for putting in a printed magazine.
Development in Smartphone
Smartphone manufacturers like Apple, Nokia, Samsung and LG are working hard to make their smartphones more powerful. Of course, their main focus is not attracting the mobile journalists but who does not want to take better still pictures or record videos? Who does not want more processing power, memories and storage in their smartphones? After all, mobile phone is the only device that most of us carry always and everywhere. So, mobile phone companies are investing billions of dollars in upgrading the capabilities of their devices and soon, we will see the results that would satisfy most journalists. The growing popularity of smartphones is allowing the manufacturers to spend more on research and development.
The development is not only coming from the phone making companies alone. There are app makers who are enhancing the capabilities of your smartphones and many apps can be downloaded at free of cost.
Integration with the traditional Media
Using mobile phones in breaking news type of events has caught a lot of attention already. If you live in a rich country then it is perhaps difficult for you to imagine a village or an island where there is no electricity and you cannot simply take your car as there is no good road. So, covering a story in this type of place is not only very expensive but also at times almost impossible unless you try your luck with a smartphone.
Close relationship with Online Journalism
The development of mobile journalism will perhaps move along with the development of online journalism. Of course, be it TV journalism, radio journalism, print journalism, online journalism or mobile journalism- you must know the basics and you must be skilled if you want to shine. I write a lot in Internet and I feel that for the time being, smartphones are more suited for helping us for online publishing and broadcasting rather than TV, Radio or Newspapers.
In a later post, we hope to post links of many websites and webpages related to online journalism. We hope that this website (Tekbi.com) will become a useful place for anyone looking about mobile journalism. So, just keep coming back. This is a field that is most likely to witness explosive growth in the next 5 years. So, we are expecting to see many websites, blogs, forums and books on mobile journalism from now. Until that time, visit this link: Mobile Journalism
Finally, if you are interested about mobile journalism then keep coming back here as we are going to cover a lot about it. On the other hand, if you are an expert on this field then we would be glad to interview you. If you have a website on it then let us know and we would love to inform others.