Image description
Briyahna Rice
Noodle Expert Member

March 26, 2020

How journalism students can better use their smartphones to record interviews, take photos, and take videos

In today's world of broadcast journalism, everything is expected to come with instant updates and social media tags to better get a story across to the public. Not to mention the fact that many field reporters, even student field reporters are expected to do it all on their own. Writing their own scripts, photographing events as they happen, shooting and editing their own videos, and setting up their own interviews to be recorded. All of which comes with the territory of lugging around heavy cameras, extra batteries, and dragging along ten feet of wire for the microphones. But now, our smartphones can do all of that ,and more.

Now, its no secret that we pretty live on our smartphones, from our work, to our personal lives. Whether its vicariously through someone else's accounts, or for instant updates for whatever is cycling through the news. But when journalists and field reporters are bringing people the news, they're attempting to put the world in people hands. Which is what we have at our disposal, courtesy of our phones; according to David Ho, the executive editor of the Wall Street Journal with 20 years of experience as a national journalist. Along with being an NYC National reporter, David was also a Washington D.C. FCC and telecom beat reporter with experience as a designer and news photographer, web producer, and programmer.

With his vast knowledge of mobile journalism, he breaks down the best smartphone apps and technologies for journalism students to download for tackle stories and turn their phones into Swiss army knives. To start, they can invest in lightweight, wireless keyboards for both tablets and phones that can be bought for pretty inexpensive prices. No laptop required, and the need to carry unnecessary stuff becomes non existent. One wireless keyboard that's worth a small investment is the Amazon Basic Blue tooth keyboard. Also, there's the LG Rolly keyboard that can be fold up and put away with ease. Next, journalism students who do photography and videos from their phones would benefit greatly from getting lens kits that allow for better zoom ins, wide angles and even fish eye. In alike manner, iPhone users who need to keep their phones steady while shooting video can invest in an IOgrapher case that even comes with mounts for detachable lights and microphones.

Similarly, when it comes to recording audio from phones, whether its for podcasts, and especially interviews, an external microphone, or a wireless lavaliere mic that can be plugged into the earphone jack, will vastly improve the audio quality. Then there's, the hassle of constantly recharging phones, even while on the move. Now with the Powergen Mobile Juice pack, that becomes a thing of the past. Not only can they charge multiple devices at once, but they're more than reliable for busy days of interviews, photo, and video shoots. Speaking of charging phones, anyone whose chargers chords have turtle necks or rips that prevent that from working properly can look into buying braided chords that equal parts tough and reliable. Then, for students who have large phones that take up space in their bags, and are hard to hold, an adhesive strap is the perfect solution, especially when they're in the thick of a massive crowds, or running after a person of interest in an event and don't want to risk dropping it.

With regards to apps, one that is great for file management, and maintaining productivity is GoodReader for the iPhone. Another one for the iPhone and android, that is perfect for transcribing live events is AudioNote. It works by letting the app record audio while typing into it at the same time. Meanwhile, the app is syncing up the typing with the audio. So if a partial quote is needed for reference, a student can simply tap the written portion ad the audio of said quote will play. On the other hand, when it comes to having precise dictation for audio recordings, Dragon Dictation for the iPhone, and Speech to Text for the android are just the right apps for the job. Moreover, for student journalists who want to keep their Twitter constantly up to date, Tweet Library/ Tweet Keeper for the iPhone are perfect for searching, archiving, ans sharing Twitter information as it comes in.

In summary, the world has become a technological oyster for any and all student journalists to come out on top as pearls, ready to tackle and any all kinds of events with a plethora of apps and tools at their disposal to make their productivity and organization as smooth, reliable, and most of all painless as possible.

Want to become a Noodle contributor? Email: