The ‘Inspector Gadget’ Journalist

News organisations across the world are exploring ways to take convergent journalism to the next level. In India, we are still quite primitive, with a clear demarcation among print, broadcast and online journalists, and a further sub-classification for writers/reporters and photo/video journalists.
In this modest setting, I first experimented with convergent journalism in 2010, with my humble 2G Blackberry Curve. Convergence was limited to the fact that I didn’t have to wait till evening to reach office, and instead began filing stories in relative real-time on my phone much earlier.
But having now experimented with iPhone video and photos once, for a personal affair, I feel it can be used as a potent convergent journalism tool. The quality of photos and videos is good for web posting. Just take shots, get them on your computer and stitch together a multimedia story in quick time. It can be done on the phone itself, though with less ease-of-use and flexibility.
The iPhone, or the other new generation smartphones, can be near-complete journalism tools if they offer easy typing. I hear laser keyboards are in the pipeline, they’ll revolutionise journalism! Imagine the possibilities when you can cover, format and distribute multimedia news through a single gadget!

IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES!

But even then, convergence is incomplete without fast Internet. That’s a big concern in the Indian context. Just 10 per cent of the country’s nearly 1.2 billion residents access Internet. Worse, only seven in every 10 connections that feed these users are broadband.
So in places like India where one has to return to base for distributing content, a DSLR camera and a sound recorder accompanied with a compact and powerful computer device, say a MacBook, can be great reporting tools. It can help create high-quality content in quick time!

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