Neal Augenstein

Posts Tagged ‘journalism’

Mobile, yes. Video, no.

In Uncategorized on August 15, 2013 at 12:36 am

Mobile is the future.

Everyone loves video.

Yet, video isn’t the answer on mobile.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think so.

The problem with video: it’s not easily consumed on a tiny screen, and smartphone users aren’t willing to just sit and stare.

A recent marketing study by Experian shows users spend less than 1% of their time watching video.

And who can blame them? There are so many other tasks smartphone users want to try to fit in while grabbing a cup of coffee, waiting for a bus, or stopped at a traffic light.

Sure, there’s time to consume a 6-second Vine, or even a 15-second Instagram video, but a person rushing to check email, post on social media, and surf the web doesn’t have the inclination to concentrate on something that requires two senses, as watching and listening to a video does.

I contend a well-produced audio feature, is far better content for a smartphone or tablet.

ultimatetweet

A few months ago, I detailed the Ultimate Tweet, which lets a user simultaneously listen to an audio feature while viewing a photo montage.

My premise – when producing content for mobile, audio is better than video – does have some potential drawbacks:

  1. It’s more time-consuming to edit, write, voice, mix a longform audio feature than to shoot a Vine or Instagram video.
  2. Audio production is becoming a lost art, as fewer would-be journalists choose radio, in large part because of low salaries.
  3. The perception video is a better storytelling method than audio.

Granted, I enjoy consuming video on my iPhone as much as the next person, and there are times ‘moving pictures’ are the best way to tell a story.

My suggestion:  consider how users will receive your content, and choose the best tools for telling the story creatively.

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Cheapest, most important accessory for #iphonereporting

In Uncategorized on July 8, 2013 at 6:53 pm

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A microphone windscreen costs under five dollars at any music store or online, yet it’s the most important accessory for #iphonereporting.

The built-in microphone of the iPhone is very susceptible to wind — even a stiff breeze can ruin a recording.

Yet, a simple windscreen has allowed me to use my iPhone during coverage of a hurricane.

Just slide the bottom of the iPhone into the windscreen (remember the built-in mic is just to the left of the charging port) and you’ll be fine.

Looks silly? Maybe. Works? Yep.

How iOS 7 will improve #iphonereporting

In Uncategorized on June 11, 2013 at 10:40 pm

 

When Apple’s new iOS 7 debuts in Fall, two features I believe could mean major improvements for #iphonereporting are FaceTime Audio and AirDrop.

I’m not a developer, and don’t have a beta version with which to experiment, so these are just first impressions on how the new operating system could benefit journalists, public relations professionals, and newsmakers.

FaceTime Audio

Forward-thinking Nick Garnett of the BBC has pioneered doing live reports with FaceTime, in its current video configuration.

In my testing, the connection is generally more stable than Skype, in both WiFi and LTE.

During FaceTime video, the microphone used is located in the phone’s earpiece (where you listen during a standard phone call), next to the front camera.

Holding that microphone a few inches from your mouth provides good, but slightly tinny audio (and a close-up view of your tonsils to the person on the other end of the video chat.)

With FaceTime Audio I’m hopeful the microphone engaged will be the far-superior microphone located on the bottom of the iPhone, directly to the left of the charging part.

The microphone on the bottom of the phone has much better bass response. I use that built-in bottom mic for the majority of my #iphonereporting.

AirDrop

To this point, it’s required some wired connections to transfer videos and photos taken on iPhone to iPad for editing. AirDrop will allow wireless sharing between devices (as long as you have an AirCloud account).

If you’re enthusiastic about how other iOS 7 features could help in #iphonereporting, I’d love to hear about them!

The Ultimate Tweet

In Uncategorized on April 2, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Typing 140 characters and adding a link or photo is so 2010.

Too many news organizations merely toss web or broadcast content in a tweet.

Here’s an example of content created on mobile for mobile.

Untether from the past

In Uncategorized on July 2, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Declaring independence — from laptops, bags full of cumbersome radio broadcast gear, and perhaps most important, ‘the way it’s always been done.’

iPhone Reporting provides liberty, for those forward-thinkers willing to embrace both the benefits and challenges it poses. Comparison to work produced by journalists using full-size and function gear is inevitable and helpful, but is often comparing apples to oranges.

I estimate the audio quality of the built-in microphone of the iPhone4 to be 92-percent as good as that recorded with my Shure SM63 into a Marantz PMD620.

While some might argue “the listener will notice the difference,” I assure you a well-produced iPhone Reporting wrap, including your voice track, newsmakers, and natural sound will be almost aurally identical to the report filed by a journalist carrying traditional gear.

Yet, the iPhone Reporter can also provide cropped photos, edited video, and social networking — without having to find, set-up, boot-up, and dub from another device.

Publisher and broadcast media mogul Walter Annenberg once said “I cannot compromise or inhibit my independence.”

I think he’d agree compromise as a way of achieving independence is a goal worth working toward.