Interviewees are less intimidated by smaller, hand-held equipment and more likely to approach reporters with smartphones rather than a big TV crew, the latest research from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism has found.
In Closer to the Story? Accessibility and Mobile Journalism, published on 14 July, Finnish journalist Panu Karhunen carried out a two-part investigation to see how mobile journalism affects accessibility, asking whether journalists can get closer to the story and the subject using mobile technology.
After firstly interviewing 11 reporters, Karhunen found journalists were able to physically tell stories that would have been impossible with a large TV camera and multi-person crew, while capturing more genuine and intimate content.
For example, highlights in the report show the ability of news organisations such as Bild, Time and BBC Panorama to report on the refugee crisis using the livestreaming and mobile capabilities of their smartphones far more than they would have been able to with bigger, garish equipment.
The interviewed reporters, which include BBC Radio 5's Nick Garnett, mobile journalism trainer and academic Ivo Burum and freelancer journalist Geertje Algera, also explained that mobile journalism enables news professionals to produce more content, staying on location and giving updates as stories break, often sending finished packages back to the newsroom.