Students Learn to Use Smartphones for Mobile Journalism

Sophie Allen and Julie Medley

Mobile Journalism at MediaNowSTL is all about learning how to use your smartphone to its full potential.  The students will spend some time documenting their experiences using a combination of their device’s abilities to record video, audio, and photos, and social media websites like Twitter and Facebook.

“It’s just [about] going out there, getting details quickly and as efficiently as possible,” said Catherine Presley, Mobile Journalism student, about this new journalism perspective.

The students will be going to visit the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on June 23 to evaluate the daily lives of journalists from several different areas, with a variety of positions. They will be live-tweeting their experiences in the format that they covered earlier in the class.

This project will allow students to practice using smartphones and social media to benefit their journalism. Despite the fact that camp is only a few days long, the hope is that this ability to use what they already have to their advantage will continue to help students throughout their lives as the journalism field continues to expand on the Internet.

“Cell phones and mobile devices are prevalent, so [they] benefit the reporter in a lot of ways because it makes things so much easier,” said Erica Smith, the other adviser for the Mobile Journalism class. “It’s a lot easier now to record an impromtu video of a fire you come across, or a car accident, or a cute kitten, than it was five or ten years ago. The immediacy plays out really well on social media, online, and in venues where journalism is moving, which brings us a wider audience and really just helps tell a more complete story.”

Editor’s Note: This post was updated at 7:30 pm on June 23 to reflect that the students went on a different field trip than what was originally described.