Friday 7 March 2014, 14:21
Mobile reporting pioneer Nick Garnett recently revealed that he now does 90% of his broadcasting on his iPhone. The first rule of the game, he says, is staying connected:
I’ve been using Luci Live software for smartphone broadcasting on BBC Radio 5 live since September 2010. At first it was seen as the answer to all our problems: cheap, safe and easy to use.
Cheap: a satellite can cost around £3 a minute to broadcast on - or 4p per minute if you’re using 3G. Think about the number of hours of live broadcasting the BBC does and you’ll understand just one of the compelling arguments for broadcasting via smartphone.
Safe: satellites transmit radiation. This is what the manual for one of the most popular satellite dishes, the Nera M4, states:
Easy to use: one of the huge advantages, in my opinion, of Luci Live’s main screen, the UI, is the simple layout. I’ve been able to direct people how to use it over the phone. It’s much harder to explain to someone how to use a satellite dish when you’re not standing next to them.
But there’s a problem. In 2010 smartphones connected to the internet were still fairly new and data plans relatively expensive. Today...
Tuesday 4 March 2014, 15:46
Continuing our series about people who have taken different routes into journalism, former paediatrician Smitha Mundasad admits that friends sometimes think she’s mad to have made the transition from medicine to broadcasting. So far she has no regrets:
As far back as I can remember my head was buried in a book, gobbling up tales of new worlds without pause - or I was watching the news wide-eyed as Huw Edwards introduced lives and places that were new to me. I always knew I wanted to be a journalist.
But, coming from a tribe of doctors, another universe tugged at me steadily. Mealtimes and most times were spent chatting about patients, intricate operations and saving lives. From a very early age I had a keen fascination with the mechanics of the human body and a desire to know how to fix it. One of the first things I learned to draw was an (almost) anatomically correct cross-section of the eye. My primary school teachers didn’t recognise it, but my dad was very proud.
Deciding between the two paths was very difficult. But after endless deliberation I took my parents’ well-founded and unyielding advice about the indescribable process of being a doctor and helping people.
Tuesday 4 March 2014, 14:44
BBC journalists are again invited to apply for two prestigious fellowships designed to enable experienced people to step out of their day job, develop new insights and bring something fresh back to the organisation.
The University of Michigan Fellowship and the Reuters Fellowship at Oxford University - both supported by the BBC - are open to all senior journalists across BBC journalism:
The Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan
The Knight-Wallace Fellowship offers a four-month placement for BBC staff at the largest research university in the world. Applicants will attend for one semester, to begin in either September 2014 or January 2015. The closing date for applications is 11 March 2014.
The Fellowship aims to provide “a broader perspective, nurture intellectual growth, and inspire personal transformation”.
You will study to complete the project you have outlined in your application, select classes from the full range of courses offered at the university, and have access to twice-weekly seminars by prominent journalists and leading academics.
Typically, 12 American Fellows are joined at Michigan by six international colleagues.
The programme of research...
Monday 3 March 2014, 10:14
As you leave the Falklands Radio building and follow a path between a house and children’s nursery, you come out on to Ross Road, near the police-station-cum-prison, and within half a minute you’re in the town hall. Which is also the court room. And the Legislative Assembly building. And houses the Post Office. Oh, and upstairs there’s the function room, which is home to concerts, balls and the first round of the islands’ annual darts league. Islanders take their darts-playing nearly as seriously as their pub-going, in a place where the duty paid on alcohol is significantly less than...
Friday 28 February 2014, 13:38
It’s not often you get a lift home in a police car, especially when the officer simply wants to “save you the walk”.
And yet that’s what happened to me on the Falkland Islands. It was 2009 and on my first morning there I woke up with a sore back. Two steps across the bedroom at the B&B it went into spasm and I could barely move. I called for help and within a few minutes I had been strapped to a stretcher, given gas and air and was on the way to the hospital with what turned out to be a slipped disc. In the next week I was admitted twice more, and for the rest of my stay I struggled...
Wednesday 26 February 2014, 11:35
What is ‘interaction’? It’s the word journalists have been chucking around for years while in pursuit of a) a digital strategy and b) a desire to show they are ‘listening’ to viewers/readers/listeners. But strip away the emperor’s new Instagram filter and you can often translate a) to ‘oh, just stick a hashtag on that’ and b) ‘just make it look like we’re listening, we’ve already written the script’.
Interactive is a stupidly vague term. But many of us (including me) are guilty of overusing it, often in place of more functional words like ‘clickable’. Apply it to...
Tuesday 25 February 2014, 12:17
Lately, following the news agenda in Turkey has become a full-time occupation in itself, with the country's political scene in flux and a new scandal or crisis breaking on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis. Last weekend’s renewed protests in Istanbul in which thousands clashed with riot police over controversial new internet controls was just the latest upheaval.
One night last week I sat down to catch up with news and analysis of the day only to notice that the Turkish newspapers had been quick to take down “objectionable” content. This is in line with new amendments to the Internet...
Friday 21 February 2014, 11:09
As news stories break, journalists find themselves wanting to speak to members of the public. They could have witnessed an incident or may have been affected by an event. Their views count and they enhance our reports with a human angle.
There are many ways to locate ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, but we don’t always know how our approaches will be received, or indeed if our messages to them will be read at all.
This is where Twitter comes into its own. If someone is tweeting from a situation, they obviously don’t mind sharing their views with the world and if they are currently...
Thursday 20 February 2014, 14:18
If you were an aspiring Italian fashion designer looking for a city from which to jump-start an international career, would you choose Milan or the small city of Vecinza? Probably the former.
Centuries ago Vecinza was a much stronger cultural hub of Italian fashion, as were Genoa and Naples. But most fashion professionals in the country have since migrated to Milan or Rome. It’s beneficial to be located close to the geographic heart of an industry. That proximity offers community, eyeballs and opportunity.
These benefits have been evident not only in fashion but in literature and manufacturing...
Wednesday 19 February 2014, 11:35
In the first of a series of blog posts on alternative ways to get into journalism, Chicago-born self-taught journalist Tim Pool, now an international correspondent for media company VICE, tears up the traditional rule book. "Just do it" is the radical 27-year-old's mantra, and he argues that the definition of what a journalist is - and who qualifies - is no longer set in stone.
"I’d definitely call myself an accidental journalist," says beanie-hatted Tim Pool. "I've always been into technology and on social media. But it wasn't until the whole 2011 protest thing - the hacker movement online...