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#Tip: ways to get the best exposure when taking iPhone photos

August 20th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists
By AshtonPal on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

By AshtonPal on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Having a smartphone in your pocket can mean having access to a wide variety of content production tools.

Sometimes extra downloads aren’t even needed. For example, the native camera on the iPhone can take great photos if used to its full potential.

This tutorial from the iPhone Photography School outlines ten ways to get the best exposure when taking pictures with the smartphone.

It also explains that, while exposure can be adjusted in editing, getting it right as the photos are being taken makes for a better result.

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#Tip: Remember these 10 tips on mobile journalism

April 25th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

Professionals at the crossroads of the journalism and technology have been leading the field in terms of taking the tools for reporting and publication on the road.

A recent post on the American Journalism Review offers ten tips from a panel at the 2014 Journalism Interactive conference on mobile journalism.

The tips are intended for best way to teach journalism students about the necessary skills and tools but include some good ideas and habits for getting used learning the skills, making it a habit of the working day and best practice for using it in the field.

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#Tip: Advice on creating 15-second Instagram videos

September 18th, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Mobile, Multimedia, Top tips for journalists
By Das-Fotoimaginarium on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

By Das-Fotoimaginarium on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Here are “11 practical, use-them-right-now tips that will help you produce better Instagram videos“.

Wondering how much journalistic value there is in producing 15-second videos? Read this on how NowThis News is producing ‘instaview’ videos, offering soundbite answers from an interview.

The Instagram video tips offered include:

Hold your finger over your phone’s microphone if you don’t want sound when shooting a clip within the app.


Keep several standard clips on your phone for when you need to create on the go.

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#Tip: Interested in mobile reporting? Check out this resource of related reading

Sponge Flickr stevendepolo

Image by Steven Depolo on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

In September last year a new platform called Spundge was launched to help journalists keep track content across the web, store away useful and interesting material into ‘notebooks’ and even publish directly to social and blog platforms.

This week one of the journalists behind it, Craig Silverman, tweeted a link to a mobile journalism notebook, created by Mick Côté, which gathers content from the web relating to the latest developments in this field – and would be a useful resource for those interested in mobile reporting.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link.

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#Tip: Become a better smartphone photographer

Here are 12 tips on becoming a better smartphone photographer, as shared by CNN iReport.

The tips are from an interview with multimedia journalist and iPhone street photographer Richard Koci Hernandez.

Advice includes never to use the zoom on a phone camera, and to lock the exposure and focus.

The full list of tips is here.

(The post was published in September but the advice is obviously all still relevant.)

Update: And here are a further 10 tips on mobile phone photography, these from the Best Buy Mobile site. And five tips from Yanik’s Photo School site.

Hat tip: Marc Settle, who tweeted about all three posts.

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#Tip: Know where the video mic is on your iPhone

April 22nd, 2013 | No Comments | Posted by in Mobile, Top tips for journalists
iPhone 4S and 4

Image by renatomitra on Flickr. Some rights reserved

If you are an iPhone user and shoot video, do you know where the microphone is that records sound for video?

If you have an iPhone, 4, 4S or 5 and you think it is at the ‘bottom’ of your mobile, close to where your mouth would be when speaking on the phone, you are wrong.

The video mic on the 4 and 4S is the small dot next to the headphone socket (see image above). On the iPhone 5 the video mic is close to the camera lens.

The three models have a separate microphone for video, Marc Settle, who trains BBC reporters in using iPhones to shoot video, has pointed out.

As Glen Mulcahy, innovation lead at Irish broadcaster RTE, explains in this helpful post, Settle demonstrated to him that the video mic is not where many people think it is.

The advice comes after Mulcahy led a session on mobile journalism at Friday’s news:rewired, a conference run by

Read Glen Mulcahy’s blog post for more and for pictures of the mic locations.

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#Tip of the day for journalists: Consider getting interviewees to press record

December 18th, 2012 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Mobile, Top tips for journalists

Image by John.Karakatsanis on Flickr. Some rights reserved

If you have ever tried to find a way of recording a phonecall from your iPhone, you will know that there is no easy solution.

One way is to record the call to voicemail, an option that only allows for short recordings and does not enable you to ask for permission before hitting record. Another possibility is iPadio (for a guide see this link), but this makes the raw interview publicly accessible, gives a phoneline-quality recording, and again does not allow you to ask for permission before recording. The last time I tested there were no apps that solved the problem satisfactorily (do leave a comment below if you know of a solution or email me).

Update: See the comment from Mark from iPadio below

Here is a simple solution for getting a quality recording as tried and tested by US radio journalist Neal Augenstein, who we have reported on previously as he ditched other recording kit in favour of his iPad and iPhone.

In this post Augenstein explains that he now gets interviewees to record themselves on their own phone (while speaking to him from a second mobile phone or landline) and then asks them to email over the audio.

Interviewees could also record using QuickTime (file / ‘new audio recording’) on a Mac or Microsoft’s Sound Recorder.

Read Augenstein’s post to find out how interviewees can record on their phone and email you the file.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link.

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#Tip of the day for journalists: mobile reporting pointers

December 12th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Mobile, Top tips for journalists

Copyright: By Das Fotoimaginariumn on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

The 10,000 Words blog has a post which offers some tips for getting video footage with a smartphone. See the post here.

At’s recent news:rewired event speakers on a mobile reporting session also shared tips on using mobile devices to report. Here is a liveblog of the session which featured lots of practical tips and apps for journalists.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link.

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#Podcast – How iPhones to ‘green screen Nokias’ are being used for mobile journalism

November 23rd, 2012 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Podcast

Image by John.Karakatsanis on Flickr. Some rights reserved technology editor Sarah Marshall finds out how phones are being used for mobile journalism.

She speaks to:

You can hear future podcasts by signing up to the iTunes podcast feed.



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#AOPsummit: How ZDNet approaches mobile reporting with a responsive design CMS

October 12th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Design and graphics, Events, Mobile

Business technology news website ZDNet not only has a responsive site which adapts to the size of the screen it is viewed on, but has a responsively designed CMS, which scales to fit the screen size with the aim of making it easy for journalists to file stories from a smartphone or tablet.

The responsive CMS, which was developed internally, was introduced in July, Laura Jenner, product manager for CBS Interactive UK, which publishes ZDNet, said at today’s AOP Digital Publishing Summit.

In the session, which focussed on user experience and responsive (or adaptive) design, Jenner argued the case for responsive design, saying it is is “much better for user interaction” than an ‘m.’ mobile site.

And ease of using the site to download a white paper, for example, is key.

Loyal users are key to building audience as they always have been.

There are also business benefits of adaptive design, Jenner said, explaining that both users and search engines prefer using a responsively-designed site.

“Adaptive design is Google’s recommended option,” Jenner added.

And mobile means “you also have access to readers at times you didn’t previously”, she explained. “In the past you would have to wait until 9am on a Monday until people returned to their desks.”

Responsive design may also reduce the need for native apps and therefore reduce overheads, she added.

Asked how to convince advertisers of the advantages, Jenner said:

We are not forcing users onto another platform, they are already there. And we are providing a much better environment for advertising campaigns.

Asked whether journalists need to adapt articles or headlines to fit mobile reading, Jenner said “we don’t tell [journalists] to write a headline that fits on mobile”, adding that she believes people don’t want a shorter version of the story on mobile but want the full article.

In discussing development costs, she explained that responsive design is probably no cheaper as a one-off cost than developing native apps, but that the option is “far easier to iterate” and develop over time.

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