Smartphone journalism

Journalists are increasingly using smartphones to create their reports in the field. Find out how to build your own reports from location.

Learn to film reports on smartphones

PNG: The BBC's portable newsgathering app

There are many apps which can take photos, and many ways to share content with others across the BBC. But only the PNg app can do both - seamlessly and effortlessly. 

Landscape or portrait?

  • It is best to hold the smartphone landscape when filming
  • It is best to hold the smartphone portrait when filming

Holding smartphones when filming

  • It is best to support your smartphone with a grip or tripod
  • It is best to hold your smartphone with your hands

Learn to record sound using your smartphone

What is the quickest and easiest way to record a loud event on your smartphone?

  • Place some tape over the smartphone microphone
  • Move further away from the event
  • Attach an external microphone to your smartphone
  • Turn the recording volume down on your phone

Tips on recording sound

  • Properly configure your phone beforehand  – quite often the recording quality of devices is set very low to preserve storage space. Don’t lose data through over-compression. 
  • Plug in an external microphone to increase the quality.
  • If using the smartphone's internal microphone, make sure it's a quiet place.
  • Use your headphones as a microphone.

Put these android and iPhone voice recorder apps in alphabetical order

  • iTalk recorder
  • Voice recorder pro
  • Voice recorder HD
  • HT professional recorder
  • Quick recorder
  • Audio recorder
  • Easy voice recorder
  • Evernote
  • RecForge II
  • Smart voice recorder

Learn to edit content on your smartphone

Place these mobile video editing apps in alphabetical order

  • Adobe Premiere Clip
  • iMovie
  • KineMaster
  • Lumify
  • Magisto
  • PowerDirector
  • Vee for Video
  • Video Grade
  • VidTrim Pro
  • WeVideo

Tips on editing using your smartphone

  • Use trim controls to shorten video down quickly.
  • Add captions, fades, edits, etc to video footage. 
  • For photographs, utilise auto-enhance, colour correct, red-eye-removal options. 
  • In addition, apps ScriptsPro and MyScreenplays allow editing and formatting of scripts in industry-standard layout.

Learn to broadcast your reports from location

Which of these can you use via smartphones to broadcast reports from?

  • 3G
  • 4G
  • WiFi
  • BGAN

Tips for broadcasting your reports from location

  • ENPS is a good broadcasting package to send video, stills and audio from location (does the job of a laptop computer, a blackberry, an audio recorder, a stills camera, a video camera, a television, a radio, and a radio car). 
  • Broadcasting from location means that you can cover events in real-time. Broadcasting easily from location as the events happen. 

Learn to build your story through social media

Which of these are social media methods you can use to build your story?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • An oven
  • LinkedIn

Tips for encouraging social media engagement

  • Modern social media audiences thrive off a two-way conversation with broadcasters, rather than a we-tell-you mentality. Try to encourage debate amongst your audience when publishing your content on social media.
  • Try to connect your content to similar online material to create a network of information for the audience. Also, try to hyperlink to pages with high viewing figures, (eg the twitter accounts of celebrities who may have participated).