Mobile Phones for Journalism: Use or Perish?

The question of the role of mobile phones in the news process is not about whether we can use them, but rather, how effectively. The rush of news and social media mobile apps like Facebook and Twitter has already made news distribution a matter of a push of a button, and a few seconds. So the role of the mobile in news dissemination cannot be emphasized enough.
But the use of the mobile in news gathering remains an area of great possibilities, skepticism, and novelty, depending on which side of the divide you are. In India, journalists are increasingly using mobiles for gathering news, without them actually realising they are graduating to becoming MoJos!
Reporters are beginning to take photos on mobiles while on assignments, often on editors’ instructions. The common sentiment is that professional photojournalists must utilise their skills and high-end equipment for assignments that require high expertise.
More than being a mere choice or novelty, using mobiles is a necessary for professional journalists these days. Because if they don’t, they risk losing their readers/viewers to the tech-savvy citizen journalists who are already flooding the Online space with reportage from mobile phones. Read this if you don’t believe me For Smartphone Journalists, Resistance From All Sides
Technology is fuelling this transformation. India’s mobile handset market recorded a 14.1 per cent growth last year to hit a volume of 182 million handsets, according to this study by ABI Research India Rings In 182M Handsets In 2011. Sales will continue to grow into 2017, with smartphones leading the rise with a growth rate of 40 percent to reach 97.2 million units by 2017, representing 29 percent of the total handset volume then.
Smartphones today offer a range of choices for visual journalism, as mentioned in this blogpost The Best Smartphones for Photos and Videos. So explore and enjoy!


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