WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Using Smartphones for Broadcast News Reporting

Sep 29, 2015

Broadcasting students at Western Illinois University are required to buy a Mac for writing and editing stories.  That got Shop Talk panelist Rich Egger wondering whether students might soon be required to own a smartphone, and if smartphones might be the wave of the future for professionals.

Panelist Jasmine Crighton does not expect either to happen in the immediate future.  She said while smartphones have improved quite a bit, professional grade cameras and recorders still provide far better quality.  She said smartphones and tablets are generally used in the field only when it’s not feasible to use professional quality equipment.

Crighton believes newspapers are more likely to ask reporters to use smartphones or tablets for shooting photos or video.

Panelist Jonathan Ahl said some stations might consider using smartphones if cost is a concern, though he pointed out the price tag for professional grade cameras has dropped quite a bit.

Ahl said smartphones and tablets make it easier for a reporter to file from the field. However, he wouldn’t be surprised to see professional grade cameras provide that feature as improvements are made to the equipment.

Egger believes newsrooms with smaller staffs would be most likely to make the conversion.  He said large stations are often slow to get into new technology because of the cost of providing the equipment to everyone on staff.