National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan
Received date: June 02, 2016; Accepted date: December 16, 2016; Published date: December 21, 2016
Citation: Umair S (2016) Mobile Reporting and Journalism for Media Trends, News Transmission and its Authenticity. J Mass Communicat Journalism 6:323. doi: 10.4172/2165-7912.1000323
Copyright: © 2016 Umair S. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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The new technologies of mobile and digital media have revolutionized the entire media. This paper puts a light on new trends in digital reporting or mobile reporting and also discusses limitations and blemishes of the technology. Mobile journalism is the new way of reporting incidents live. Incident proves are spread fast using mobile and social platform. Different applications have been developed for community reporting. Where the new technologies have made the work easier, they have also put a question mark on the authenticity and reliability of these reports. The study further discusses the importance of online mobile journalism and mobile tools, as the past decade use television to broadcast any news. In future people may see many other technologies far better than mobile journalism. Cell phones are now much more productive in news recording from even in hand or pocket. To capture young audience we use mobile journalism, for this social media, internet and web contributes much more to collect information. Nowadays learning new technology, to change daily bases work habits, and adaptation of new job requirement to maintain job security and to be succeeded in career, as the mobile journalism also disrupts the transmit news market. Some future ideas are also discussed for the new trends and authentication of the reports generated by mobile reporters.
Mobile journalism; Technology; Mobile phone; Mass communication; Social media; Television; Authenticity; Media reporting
Mobile reporting is defined as generating reports using mobile phone cameras and digital cameras. Most of the mobile reports are citizens generated. Whenever an incident happens, citizens capture live and send it to reporting authorities or share it on social media. Social media i.e. twitter, facebook are the most common and largest means of spreading any news or incident. Before the advent of these platforms, only radio and news channels were the basic source of incident reporting. Nowadays, more content related to any incident can be found on internet rather than TV channels and radio channels. Mobile technology has changed broadcast journalism rapidly. Research study has been done in order to get views about the changed technological advancements through mobile phones and online text and expected trends in near future. Use of digital assets including mobiles, social networking platforms have expend to large level producing finer and better stories. As Giles and Snyder explain, “We cannot take the future for granted it is very difficult to determine what is around the next bend in the road especially in a field as integrally connected with changes in culture, politics, technology and economics as journalism” . Means of communication is constantly changes from many means like printing press to radio or television, to internet, mobile and much more. One of the mentioned above must have to adapt for journalism. “It’s not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most adaptable to change” . Information has always been one of the basic functions of mass media and one of journalism’s core competences . There is a huge difference between print media and TV reporters, radio. Newspaper needs to be published whereas TV or radio presented the news at the spot. Reference from online or web journalism are the most recent sources of news, which includes blogging and podcasting. Technology creates the difference in the journalism means the media you are using to capture the news. Today you can post digital images directly to the internet. Mobile journalism (MoJo) is another emergent form. Highly portable media news collecting devices are used which includes consumer and professional devices . The technological convergence of mobile phones and multimedia has been taking place since the 1990s, but it was not until the commercial birth of touchscreen enabled mobile devices, offered with flat rate subscriptions for mobile internet, that widespread production and use of news related content and services began to flourish. Accessing mobile news has gained traction in the everyday life of the public. In parallel, legacy news media have in recent years developed news provision, by repurposing or customizing journalistic content published for mobile sites or applications . The development of mobile phones with advanced multimedia capabilities and network connectivity has brought novel ways for journalists to live out their hectic profession. News stories, photos and videos can be produced or even published straight from the field, making the news production process faster and more efficient. Mobile phones also provide a potential means to retrieve up to date or contextual information through the mobile internet or context aware services.
Studies conducted in 2000 showed how fast mobile broadcasting is taking over other media reforms from past few years and changing journalist’s job. Sasseen, Olmstead, and Mitchell of the pew research center described how journalists have become dependent on the technical industry and mobile giants in order to reach viewers . The future destiny of news and reporting is shaped with online mobile resourcing. Today’s viewers seek the news on multiple platforms because sharing of information with people has been drastically increased providing opportunity in building a new audience and expanding the reach of show. Mobile journalism today is competing with other social networks for attention from viewers. 45% of Americans personally owns a smartphone today and among those 45%, thirty six percent of them get daily news on their devices . Almost 31% of Americans own a tablet also getting daily information and news depicts that how mobile is becoming staples in many people’s daily lives, thus changing technology of newsroom . Adaption to changed work environment with addition of digital media team has made sure the production and management of online content trustworthy and reliable. Journalists need to be very careful not with the online content only but also with the visuals they pick. Competition for the production of online content has amplified and future of journalism varies everyday based on changes in technology. Mobile devices have already changed the newsroom by introducing new ways to connect with viewers and to communicate with other journalists within the work place.
The mobile phone has its offspring in the trajectory of the telephone and telecommunication developments but has undergone extensive technological transformations. This device now enables the processing of communication and information through audio, video, graphics, text and animation . In concert with this statement,  reasons that it has been transformed into a media rich platform that makes disseminating information, entertainment and news possible. Its transformation has been influenced by messaging services such as the paper , and convergence processes that have involved accommodating functionalities such as the camera, GPS and music player  and . Since 2007, there has been a convergence of telecommunications and computing as voluminous companies such as Apple, Google and Microsoft have entered as powerful shapers of the mobile media industry alongside giants such as Samsung and Nokia . A plethora of other actors, such as Amazon and Xiaomi, have recently mobilized their forces to take part in the shaping of global mobile media. An experimental toolkit developed by Reuters is the most central example of the latest MoJo practice described in literature everywhere . This kit contains wireless keyboard, smartphone Nokia N95, microphone and solar battery charger. The model of the kit is used for live reporting is shown in Figure 1 below.
In late 2007, selected Reuter’s journalists used the kit to offer field reports that were published on a website established especially for the project, it continues to be quoted as one of the main examples of a mobile newsgathering. In 2008 U.S, MoJo kits are used to give coverage to Beijing Olympics. Due to lack of 3G and wireless services democratic and republican resolutions in convention venues were hindered , some reporter Washington post reporter Ed O’Keefe captured the picture of Hillary Clinton using his mobile phone at convention, and online news package is formed by editing this with TV broadcast footage . Table 1 motivations to use mobile phones in journalism .
|Photo and video capturing||Writing news stories and columns|
|Fast publishing||Interest and eagerness towards new technology|
|Makeshift for unexpected situations when no other camera is available||Possibility to write whenever and wherever inspiration hits|
|Order from the employer||Lightness of tools, no need to carry computer and follow news even out of office|
Table 1: Comparison of photo, video capturing and writing news stories, columns.
Webcasting is defined as delivering content on the internet or web. As internet as the main source of information nowadays. Anyone who uploads some incident report or content on internet can be seen as a webcaster.
Personal digital assistants are small devices with limited capacity. They have small screens and perform some basic functionality recently PDAs with high performance capacities and cameras are also available which can be the means for reporting.
c. Digital cameras
Digital cameras are fast and efficient means for recording an incident. Digital cameras are devices used to capture high quality images and videos.
d. Smart phones
Smart phones are commonly used nowadays. Every person has access to smartphones. Smartphones are small portable devices used for communication with additional functionality of cameras, music players etc. Mobile cameras are the main source of live reporting and mobile journalism now.
Short messages are also a common means of information. Information is spread very fast using these services.
The detailed model of sources of mobile journalism is shown in Figure 2.
The transformation of computing with communication technologies in the past twenty five years has greatly affected the media industry. So the technology for the distribution of journalistic information in various forms has become easily available offering more opportunities for media societies in order to reach their audience. Model cross media publishing describes specifically the steps in the implementation of a successful cross media publish that helps radio and television stations adapt the ever changing media market. Cross media is typically defined by the idea of producing different news including text, videos, and images for more than one media platforms. WWW provides the best transfer of information globally within no time moreover Wi-Fi and WAP(wireless application protocol) provides user to access online media content and news instantaneously covering headlines , summary of recent happenings, short videos which provide trustworthiness of uploaded content. Content elements make up the publishing network and are categorized into static and dynamic. Static comprises of text, still images and graphics that are then merged for uploading as online content while dynamic include videos and sounds. The online news casting is very attractive and allows reaching remote viewers quickly. Production of online content via mobile or other devices is an easy task but its distribution on networks is what makes it challenging. Another important factor is that reachability to viewer matter most .The fact that online streaming requires substantial amount of bandwidth and cost increases with per user accessing it at same time . So high resolution affects in drawing viewers rapidly and believing in content it to be coming from a trustful source.
As standard online journalism is trending at increased rate, readers or viewers appreciate geo location providing them to search for particular news in few seconds. A main criterion in posting online content via mobile is recent and accurate content. During last few years’ research in production of journalistic content have been made and termed as mobile journalism that implies of using mobile phones in creating and publishing content out of office.
In triple context play mobiles phones being used for communication and broadcasting news across world with its audio visual experience and rich multimedia content are considered as killer application for 3G and mobile internet. Telecommunication industry dominates due to technical usage of mobiles. Using streaming media technology transfer through the mobile communication network, television industry leading mobile multimedia broadcasting technology adoption (CMMB standard, China Mobile Multimedia Broadcasting) through terrestrial and satellite star network transmission for mobile . The innovation and integration in this trend shows advantages of mobile online content over the old methods.
In early study of mobile phone communication scholars discussed humane trend and compensatory media theory to explain emergence of mobile phones as the phone cut off the people trapped in the interior of the rope, walk and speak satisfy human needs to exchange information and mobile needs, giving our body mobility, plus the ability to connect with the world. Mobiles let us talk to the world fully connected. It explored history of mobility in media from reading books to camera phones to transistor radio to laptop and let us convers by voice, image or text.
The first mobile devices equipped with internet access, camera functionality and messaging services became precursors to a growth in using mobile devices for reporting news. More recent technological landmarks have significantly improved such possibilities. This has, on the one hand, led to journalists working for legacy news media adopting such mobile devices in their reporting. On the other, this has also fueled a rapid growth in citizen journalism. Several Nordic studies have explored how mobile technology has created new possibilities for journalism. Some of these have focused on how mobile news reporting influences the organizing and practice of journalism. The peculiar features of mobile devices, such as positioning, have been given specific attention. Additional studies into experimenting with mobile journalism platforms among legacy news media suggest that costs, usability and functionality constitute challenges newsrooms must deal with .
a. Mobile as a work tool
In 2007 the Reuters news agency, seeing the potential mobile phones, reached an agreement with the company Finnish Nokia, to develop a model for the digital journalism. But the big jump came with the emergence of mobile iPhone, devices with more advanced features that they became small computers with permanent and specific applications such as Photoshop . Smartphones are allowing coverage to date they would have been unthinkable. To the present, the only way to send signals was directly linked satellite, terrestrial or microwave, the first that gave a boost in the international arena, and that saved the They are suffering with difficult terrain and ground links facilitated telephone communications, transmissions television and other media such as telex, facsimile, etc. .
b. Mobile Journalists
Mobile devices have enhanced the possibilities for journalists to work and report from the field. They can be used for news reporting for mobile news platforms but also for the entire cross media portfolio. Internet connectivity and advanced search functionality, along with a myriad of intelligent and easily accessible apps, have obviously provided journalists with new and powerful tools for reporting news. Google queries, facts from databases, as well as gateways to informants are typically only a couple of clicks away , for instance, notes that journalists are empowered to instantly double check earlier statements and facts while interviewing a politician. Mobile technology generally stands out as making news reporting more efficient in times when journalists in many legacy news media organizations are shrinking. Mobile journalists are journalists who use mobile devices in their news reporting. Such practices have grown considerably around the globe, from Asia and Australia to Africa. North America and Europe [22,23].
In order to properly understand the future of television journalism, one must understand how it grew to where it is today. The past tells us that technology causes journalism to change. In the mid nineteenth century, the telegraph allowed news publishers to gather and send information across the globe faster than ever before. By the early twentieth century, the camera could create photographic images of people and events that readers had never been able to see . In the past forty years, most afternoon newspapers have disappeared, people’s primary news sources have shifted from paper, to television, to the internet, and our ways of understanding the news has completely changed. Many studies regarding how changing technologies impact broadcast journalism were conducted in the early 2000s, when the internet began to have a strong presence in the world of news media. Since its invention, the internet has become the most popular means of communicating news, and has increasingly changed journalists’ job and their impacts on their audience, along with the subsequent advent of mobile technology. In 2001, Bardoel and Deuze further explored the endless technological possibilities of the internet and how a new occupation and industry had been created digital and online journalism. In another study, Deuze analyzed the first generation of news media online to find that online journalism was a fundamentally different type of journalism, particularly because it involved a new platform to share information that must constantly be kept in mind for journalists in the future . As Henry Jenkins correctly predicted in the 2001 MIT technology review, media will be everywhere, and we will use all kinds of media in relation to one another. Giles and Snyder  also supported this prediction in problems and prospects of journalism: What’s next? By compiling essays from experts in the United States who recognized how journalism would likely change with the internet, and predicted it would be the future of news .
a. Job changes due to online and mobile news
Online and mobile technologies play an increasingly prominent role in television newsrooms, particularly on the local level. At this level reporters are responsible for all on-air and web content regarding their story, including a print style web article. On the network level, journalists bring a new value to their website by adding materials beyond the on-air broadcasts. For example, producers at CBS this morning are encouraged to supply web extras to their stories, including parts of stories that did not make it on the air, but may be complementary to the final product online and on mobile platforms, including extra b-roll and parts of interviews . Network producers also deal with complicated copyright issues on the internet. Music, still photographs and footage licensed for particular news or feature segments are often cleared just for television broadcast, but not for the internet. Therefore, some segments are restricted from the web. With that in mind, producers are now trying to secure rights and clearances for both their broadcast and online stories when negotiating for them .
b. Changes to the newsroom
As a result of online and mobile news, big changes happened to content production in the newsroom. Matt Howerton, reporter at KWTX in Waco, Texas, called it a balancing act explaining that having to focus on the online and mobile content makes for a much more complicated day for local journalists . But, some stations have taken advantage of the online and mobile audience and created useful content opportunities for the reporter as well as the audience. To adapt to a changing work environment, many newsrooms have added a digital media team, a group of people hired to produce and manage online content, which has become the norm in many local stations and at the network level . Drew Smith, a reporter at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, South Carolina, believes the digital team is an integral part of the newsgathering and dissemination process of information .
Social networks are not just useful tools for journalists, they are also powerful new aggregators and distribution networks, which threaten to further disrupt the already uncertain economics of the internet. The click and link economy has tended to work against traditional publishers, disaggregating content and allowing search engines and web portals to take a significant slice of the available revenues. Now, social networks like Facebook are becoming the portals of the twenty first century: a key starting point for web journeys and a place where audiences are spending more and more time. The popularity and time spent with social networking sites is changing the way people spend their time online and the way in which they share and interact in their daily lives. This is creating new challenges for the media and advertising industries. Social networks provide competition to traditional publishers for consumer attention and at the same time they are opening up new ways of engaging and connecting with audiences. It is important to note that the usage of social sites is highly uneven. A recent Harvard business school survey found that 10 percent of twitter users generate more than 90 percent of the content and most people have only ‘tweeted’ once . This suggests that many people are using twitter more as a one way publishing service than a two way, peer to peer communication network. There are three key reasons for the growth of news and information in social networks: 1. Facebook created a news and activity feed in September 2006, which has become a default setting on a user’s homepage. This has encouraged more linking to mainstream news sites. It has since made it easier to include links and recommendations from other news related sites. 2. Mainstream audiences are now using social networks and they have brought their interests and preoccupations, including the sharing of news. Facebook’s dramatic growth in global audience (December 2007–December 2008) came from people aged . 3. Websites have provided icons or buttons to allow easy sharing and linking and otherwise promoted social networks. Audio video integration with YouTube has proved a huge boon because of the younger demographic; now news sites are doing the same. Newspapers and media companies have started to establish specialist marketing groups to exploit and monitor the impact of content in these spaces. The telegraph has focused its efforts on targeting specific networks, notably Digg, with which it has a close relationship and very high return click through. The New York Times has set up a ‘Buzz’ marketing department, which pays particular attention to the different social networks, and the different audiences they could attract [1,35].
The emergence of the internet together with developments in the news aggregation, online search and social media has transformed how news is produced, distributed and watched. Newspapers are no longer gatekeepers of access to news. The rise of social media and the ubiquity of online news and opinion constitute an existential challenge to traditional newspaper model in which professional journalists act as protectors and privileged distributor of information. The pace and scope of the non-organized digital coverage of the most important news of the last decade or so like the Hudson river plane crash in January 2009 , the 2004 tsunami, and the attack on the compound of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan 2011  shows the growing power of social media. With the rise of internet online digital/social media publications has changed the picture. The trend in preference is shifting towards briefer news articles and stories shared via mobile based technology. As with the citizen journalism, one of the problems with social media that stories are often not checked. After the floods in China, used newspapers photographs from social media that have taken as a decade earlier. Instances of newspapers or news agencies, citing social media sources, which are subsequently prove to be incorrect and more numerous. The future is digital. Subsequently, news organizations will need to cope up with tensions between traditional journalism and new approaches, emphasizing speed of output. A concerned issue is about exchange and news aggregation in digital world.
Technological advancements in mobiles phones are changing the way journalist report live news and stories. Improved speed and capacity has provided reporters to share online content million times more powerful than before. News gathering potential boost up is due to increased mobile phones equipped cameras and it made live streaming of videos, photos and other content relatively way more easy .
MoJo often known as mobile journalist make use of mobile phones for gathering and distributing information containing text, videos, and other content. Figure 3 depicts some journalist dates back to old times.
Mobile reporting is usually done by urban citizens having devices like smart phones. It may not be reliable as someone may perceive information wrong or someone might spread false information intentionally. TV news reporting was used to done using reliable resources. Any news before broadcasting was researched and inquired. Table 2 shows the compression between mobile journalism and TV news reporting.
|Mobile journalism||TV news reporting|
|Source not known sometime||Source always known|
|Fast transmission||Slow propagation|
Table 2: Compression of mobile journalism and TV news reporting.
As the technology is emerging, the use of mobile phones and cameras for live reporting and journalism have also questioned the authenticity of the content being generated and put on the internet. The use of photo and video sharing sites and blogs and social platform has maximized the unauthenticity of incidents and content. Immediate transmission has increased the competition between professional reporters and amateur eyewitnesses capturing events using their personal devices. The videos and image with minimum quality and blurred videos are usually considered to be correct. The videos and photos may be tempered or manipulated or the content may be provided in such a way that it conveys half or wrong information. Videos may be spread by the opposite parties completely providing false information. A major research topic in mobile journalism field is to build methods for checking authorization and reliability of mobile videos and photos.
? Methods proposed to authenticate information in mobile journalism
A common information collecting body can be introduced to collect all the mobile reporting information. Then some criteria should be set for authenticating the content. For example, if more people report about the same information or report, it may be considered reliable.
Whenever a pictures or video is captured, exit is also stored in the picture details. Furthermore, a new approach of capturing GPS coordinates with pictures can be introduced. Whenever any content is reported, its GPS coordinates can be used to determine location and then authenticity of the content.
Proper laws should be made for mobile journalists. The provider of wrong information or false information should be fined and punished so that the people do not report false content on the internet.
New applications can be developed for mobile journalism reporting. Legal bodies can be made to regulate the process. New methods can be introduced to capture videos and photos along with GPS coordinates which will make the content in mobile journalism and people will refrain from spreading false information via mobile reporting. We can use GPRS to capture images and videos it will help to improve journalism in more effective ways.
Mobile phones are revolutionizing journalism from a quite long period. First was the emergence of a new actor in the world of information, the citizen journalist, but now reporters are those who have decided to break with the model established and use this tool to inform and give live picture from anywhere without need of broadcast systems with this mobile phone. The emergence of a new professional to be looms has to adapt to this new environment and become polyvalent. The internet and mobile devices have already reformed the newsroom by introducing new means to connect with viewers and to communicate with other journalists within same place. If embracing everything from expands the definition of news long form broadcast stories to one hundred and forty characters of text, it will create a new lucrative business model. It is clear from this study that social media and user generated content is increasingly moving center stage; influencing the strategic direction and practice of journalism. It is possible to see three distinct phases in the development of community and participation on mainstream websites: (1) The emergence of message boards and community building, (2) Blogging and (3) The rise of social media and social networks. None of these have replaced the previous incarnations, which have continued to evolve in their own right. But in total, we are seeing an unprecedented growth in the amount of participation on mainstream websites, allied to an explosion in self-expression on third party sites. As mobile technology continues to be taken up readily by younger users, ensuring the continued development of the technology as new social uses emerge, it is also an area of particular interest to educators both generally, and particularly in the areas of journalism, media and communications. But this mobile journalism has its limitations, if we come across with any huge terrorist attack and all the 3G mobile phone systems cut off for security reasons that technology is then a rendered useless. This paper further puts light on how mobile journalism is being used now a days and to the extent the mobile reporting can be trusted. This paper also discussed issues and limitations of mobile journalism. Mobile journalism is the fastest means of spreading news using social networking sites and video and photo sharing sites. The paper suggested some recommendations for making the content being uploaded on internet reliable. The restricting and liberating edge of accessibility transforms restaurants, public transport, automobiles, literacy, parent child relationships, war, and indeed all walks of life, trivial and profound. Like an organic cell that moves, evolves, combines with other cells, and generates, the mobile phone has become a complex sparkplug of human life.
The author have no financial interest or conflict of interest regarding the material presented in this study.
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