Futures Lab Video #37: Apps and Tips for Mobile Reporting

    by Reuben Stern
    November 27, 2013
    Camera+ is an app that can help journalists take high-quality pictures on the go.

    Reporting by Reuben Stern, Olga Kyle, Chelsea Stuart, Kacie Yearout, Kelsey Merriam.

    This week the RJI Futures Lab brings together a few of its best segments related to mobile reporting to give you ideas for producing news via smartphone.

    "Since the amount of time you have is very limited, choose wisely. Too much information is not as useful as a little bit less information more intelligently designed." -David Poeppel, New York University


    PART 1: Apps for mobile reporting

    Amid an ever-increasing number of options, we identify five of the most useful smartphone apps for mobile reporters. We also hear from journalists and app creators about how these apps are being used in the field.
    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    For more information on the apps we featured, visit their websites:

    For more information:


    Mobile-journalism pioneer Neal Augenstein, a radio reporter for WTOP, offers advice for mobile journalists about equipment, apps, sharing through social media and more on his website.

    Mobile journalist Aimee Heckel blogs about being a modern journalist, including app reviews, new technology and the stories she covers along the way as a reporter for the Boulder Daily Camera and member of the Digital First IdeaLab team. In this post she discusses her experience of reporting from home during the Colorado flooding earlier this year.

    Apps for Journalists Tipsheet (compiled from this year’s IRE Conference which included more than 100 sessions on various topics related to investigative journalism)

    Top mobile apps for investigative journalists (Compiled by IRE and includes type, price and a short description for each of their selected apps)

    The Society of Professional Journalists offers a helpful collection of mobile resources that includes many links to additional tools, tips and other readings

    PART 2: Ideas for micro video

    The rise of short video apps like Vine, Instagram and Tout raises the question of how journalists might best use these platforms for information and storytelling. We spoke with video experts to get ideas for what could be done in a mere six or 15 seconds of video.
    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    PART 3: Examples for using Vine

    The news operation at KSDK-TV/Channel 5 in St. Louis was an early adopter of the video-sharing app Vine. We see how the news team has used the platform to present information and also connect with its audience.
    [To skip directly to this segment in YouTube, click here.]

    For more information:

    For examples of Vine used for news coverage, check out the winners of the Vine Journalist Awards, organized in October by Muck Rack and Twitter.

    PBS Mediashift offers tips on how journalists can use Vine, including the limitations and the benefits. It also links to a few tools that can help journalists create quality Vines.

    A project at MIT offers more tools that can help journalists use Vine while reporting.

    12 Micro Video Apps Let You Shoot for Social Stardom (Scientific American)

    Reuben Stern is the deputy director of the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and host and co-producer of the weekly Futures Lab video update.


    The Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Futures Lab video update features a roundup of fresh ideas, techniques and developments to help spark innovation and change in newsrooms across all media platforms. Visit the RJI website for the full archive of Futures Lab videos, or download the iPad app to watch the show wherever you go. You can also sign up to receive email notification of each new episode.

    Tagged: apps mobile mobile reporting smartphone

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