I never met Steve Jobs. But I owe him. And so does the rest of the news business.
His tools have already, and will continue to change the way journalists gather and disseminate news.
You may or may not know it, but since Feb. 2010 I have done all my field production on an iPhone and iPad. Applications running on those Apple products let me record and edit audio and video, shoot and edit photos, write stories for wtop.com, and use social media — all from the same device.
That means the laptop, digital recorders, microphones, cables, video and still camera I used to schlep have been retired. No more carrying heavy equipment, waiting for a laptop to boot-up, or transferring files from a recorder to an editing device.
Now when I leave the relative peace and convenience of the newsroom, my tools to cover news in the nation’s capital are an iPhone, iPad, and charger.
A strange thing happened after I started using the iPhone and iPad, besides my back not hurting — I realized my entire newsgathering process and strategies were changing.
In the “old days” I would concentrate on gathering audio. Now, depending on the situation I might shoot video. Or snap some pictures and tweet them immediately. Or write a story for wtop.com.
Having a tool that facilitates multi-platform reporting frees a reporter from the challenges of technology to concentrate on storytelling.
We (and you) now have the capability of livestreaming video of a breaking news event using the iPhone’s camera. Imagine the possibilities.
We (and you) can produce a video project on an iPhone within minutes and transmit it to the world instantly.
We (and you) constantly have the ability to document history, whenever an iPhone is handy.
Thanks, Steve, for creating the right tool for the job.