Digital Workers: Intro To Mobile Journalism

Journalism Next Chapter 1


-Richard Gingras
Head of news product at Google

How do you prepare for a job that doesn’t exist yet?

  • Never stop learning. School won’t teach you everything you’ll ever need to know. It will teach you how to teach yourself more efficiently for the rest of your life.
  • Constantly have new ideas ready to go so you’re prepared for opportunities.
  • Build learning into your day:
    • Push notifications
    • Email subscriptions
    • Bookmark your favorite sites
    • Listen to radio news

Mobile Impact on Mass Communications

How do I get my news?

  • Push notifications from USA Today, CNN and local news apps
  • I scan through news and trending stories on my BuzzFeed App
  • I watch HLN on my iPad with my Verizon app while I cook/clean/get ready for work. I use a waterproof bluetooth speaker in the shower
  • I listen to news from CNN and HLN on the TuneIn Radio app on my phone while I drive or go to the gym
  • I listen to NPR’s news update on their app while I drive
  • My family and friends share stories on Facebook
  • I stream newscasts from local news station apps on my phone
  • If I want to read an article but don’t have time, I paste the text into a free text-to-speech site. The site reads the article to me while I run errands and clean up around the house.

Here are a few good sites I suggest you check out:

  • Mashable
  • BuzzFeed
  • Wired
  • Cnet
  • NetNewsCheck

For a longer list of my favorite news sites check out this post on where to find credible, breaking, and viral news.

RSS: Really Simple Syndication

Subscribe to information feed that delivers news directly to one place to save time.

Chrome RSS Feed Reader



FTP: File Transfer Protocol

  • Used everyday by news organizations to transfer large video files quickly either inside the organization or to share with other stations.
  • Reporters can FTP video from the field to get it back to the station.
  • An affiliate across the country can FTP video to share with other affiliates.
  • Used to upload Web pages onto servers to publish sites online.
Here’s an example of the FTP used by Media General stations to share video and scripts.

Mobile newsgathering and sharing

There are many video editing, storytelling, and social media apps that help you create and share stories faster. Videolicious is one easy app I highly suggest trying out.

Bonded Cellular

Another incredible transformation in TV is bonded cellular. Companies like LiveU and TVU now allow videographers to live stream from practically anywhere without expensive and cumbersome live trucks. These are most commonly used as a small backpack a videographer now wears. It works like a really strong cell phone signal and also connects to wifi. It’s wireless which means no more running cable. And you don’t have to worry about powerlines interfering with your live truck dish.

I used LiveU in San Diego to cover events and breaking news that would normally be incredibly difficult to get close to and get out of. Breaking wildfires were now just feet away from my crew. We even did an entire live broadcast from the middle of Comic-Con using LiveU’s amplifier.

Here’s a short video about the LiveU many of you will use if you work in broadcast news:

TVU is similar, but there are some small differences. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to use it:

Selfie Journalism And The Future Of News

Yusuf Omar is one of the leaders in the selfie journalism revolution. As the Mobile Editor at the Hindustan Times, Omar is building the world’s largest mobile journalism team. He’s training journalists to create faster content using mobile devices. But more importantly, he’s using mobile devices to tell grassroots stories that otherwise wouldn’t make it to mainstream media.

In 2016, Omar won the world’s first Snapchat awards for giving a voice to sex abuse survivors. His use of social media and new technology is an inspiration to up and coming journalists. It’s cheaper, faster and desperately needed content.

Please watch this News Xchange discussion about the future of news. Omar explained how he curates social content to tell stories in a more democratic way. Traditional journalists challenged Omar in the discussion portion after his talk. As a journalist who’s worked for both traditional newspaper and television news in America, I understand where the old guys are coming from. But I think it’s time we recognize the cracks that are deepening in traditional news workflow.

I am not alone in longing for the days when journalists actually had time to research and create valuable content. At the end of the day, news companies are businesses, so it appears journalists will continue to grind out a higher quantity and I fear the quality will inevitably suffer irreparably. So let’s listen to Omar, because he may hold the only key to maintaining the journalistic ethics we’re all clinging to.

What makes a good story?

  • Evokes emotion, makes you feel something
  • Enlightens
  • Creates empathy
  • Teaches something
  • Inspires action
  • Exposes corruption
  • Warns people about dangers
  • Entertains


  1. Pay attention to how audio and emotion brings this story to life:
  2. The story had legs, so we continued to follow this homeless man’s journey. His stories became uplifting and inspiring messages for the community, and also went viral nationally. Think about the affect your video has on your viewer:
  3. If you let raw emotion breathe, you can inspire viewers to feel compassion and driven to help others:

Storytelling in the digital age

Storytellers have the power to create environments in which people help each other.

  • GoFundMe
  • Facebook pages to raise awareness

Related videos:

Published by JeanetteAbrahamsen

I am an instructional designer and TV news instructor at the University of South Florida. My passion for innovating learning led me to pursue my PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Instructional Technology. I love creating media to enhance eLearning and foster online engagement. I teach students to create multimedia stories for broadcast, web and social media platforms. I lead the Florida Focus class where students produce daily news shows that air on Tampa's PBS station. My reporting classes collaborated with Tampa's NPR station to produce award-winning stories. I am an Emmy Award-winning journalist. I produced thousands of hours of TV news in some of America's largest media markets at Tampa's NBC station, San Diego's ABC station and the San Diego Union-Tribune. I also produced immersive 360-degree virtual tours at the University of South Florida and reported for Hashtag Our Stories.

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