Neal Augenstein

Who “invented” #iphonereporting?

In Uncategorized on May 9, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Clearly, a lot has happened in the past several years, with journalists and others using smartphones and tablets to help tell their stories.

Today I was curious, and did a little research to see who first coined the word “iphonereporting.”

In my not-terribly-scientific-or-complete search through the Topsy search engine, I searched for variations:

It seems that this was the first variation to appear, in July 2008:

Of course Etan Horowitz is the @CNNMobile editor and blogs at

In January 2009 I joined Twitter, with a bunch of WTOP coworkers.

The first time we used Twitter in news coverage was during President Obama’s inauguration.

By the beginning of February 2010, I had started using my iPhone 3Gs to do all my audio recording, editing, and voicing. When I researched it a few years ago, it seemed like I was the first major market radio reporter to do all of his field producing on an iPhone.

Back then, I wasn’t concentrating on what to call what I was doing. In fact, I wasn’t even sure I would keep doing it.

I recall describing it as “doing all my reporting with my iPhone” and dabbled with the clumsy phrase “iPhone-only reporting.”

Also in February 2010 appears to be the first Twitter post with the hashtag (but capital R).

And, in June of 2010, another variation:

In November 2010, Damon Kiesow (@dkiesow), then of Poynter, was kind enough to write the first article about how I was using my iPhone, but neither of us referred to it as “iphonereporting.”

In February 2011 I launched my first Tumblr blog, and called it iPhoneReporting.

Ironically, according to Topsy, I’d still never tweeted with that hashtag.

And, finally in July 2011, this happened:

Now, of course, the hashtag is very active, and I learn a lot from colleagues and friends, including @MarcSettle, @GlenBMulcahy, @nicholasgarnett,  @CharlesRHodgson, @AmaniChannel, @robbmontgomery and everyone else who is kind enough to share their experiences.

That’s my take on how it happened — who can fill me in on other details?






Talking #iphonereporting with AARP

In Uncategorized on April 26, 2014 at 9:57 am


Had a fabulous #iphonereporting training session with a couple dozen members of AARP‘s social media and TV teams, with lots of how-tos, and discussion about content that can be generated on a mobile device.

Click on this Storify to see what we talked about.

New Samsung S5 sounds better than iPhone

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2014 at 5:58 am


When I started #iphonereporting in 2010,  only the iPhone had the hardware and software capable of recording great-quality audio in the device’s built-in microphone, doing precise editing and mixing, and sharing a fully-produced audio wrap.

An Android phone is catching up, quickly.

The built-in microphone of the new Samsung S5 with the phone’s Voice Recorder app sounds every bit as good — perhaps better – than the iPhone 5 recorded into Voice Memos.

Here’s an A-B test:


To my ears, the S5 sounds warmer than the iPhone 5, with better bass response, but plenty of brightness, too

On the downside for the S5, there is noticeable wind distortion several times throughout the recording, although I’m confident slipping a windscreen over the bottom of the phone will eliminate the problem.

While the iPhone 5′s built-in microphone sounds a bit tinnier, it does a better job of capturing the ambient sounds of birds tweeting than the S5.

Both the S5 and iPhone 5 produce .m4a files, and are easily trimmed and emailed or sent as SMS attachments.

 The fatal flaw for #iphonereporting

The audio improvement in Android hardware and software is great news for journalists who encourage newsmakers to turn a smartphone into a microphone during a landline interview — more interviewees can now provide great-sounding audio.

However, I still haven’t discovered a powerful, easy-to-use multitrack audio editing application for Droid — and that’s a major problem.

The goal of #iphonereporting is to be able to record, edit, and transmit finished pieces entirely on the mobile device.

There are several iOS editing apps available, which can do the fine-tuning, snipping, moving, and overlaying needed for professional-sounding content.

Apple hasn’t substantially improved its built-in microphone since I got my first 3GS.

Samsung has done its part to close the hardware gap, let’s see which Android developer wants to become the mobile journalism rock star.

Let me know if you have any questions.

(BTW, AT&T provided the S5 used in this testing)


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