Newsgear Story-telling Kits
The following session was about mobile gathering impacting the newsrooms. Inaki Palacios introduced the topic by asking the question, “should it be regulated?” He introduced speaker Kerry Northrup,┬á2012 NewsGear Kit & Newsplexer founder in the USA.
Northrup started his speech by talking about the development of mobile technology as a storytelling element.
NewsGear is a project Northrup has been working on for over a decade. Its purpose is to aid modern mobile multiplatform journalists in their storytelling.
He showed a picture of the Nokia Cardphone, which was one of the first things included in a NewsGear kit in 1999, and through the years, there were many technological additions to the NewsGear kits.
Later versions of these kits included accessories for mobile phones.
“The latest NewsGear, 2010, which has a mobile component to it, is about what journalists need in the way of mobile technology,” Northrup said.
Northrup asked the audience to hold up their mobile phones if they thought they had a good mobile phone for storytelling. After a series of questions, Northrup asked about the capabilities of these mobile phones, leaving only one person still holding his phone in the air.
“It’s not whether it has an app on it. Obviously it has to have good basic phone functionality,” Northrup said. However, for a phone to be a good media mobile phone, it needs to have a minimum of 8 mp photos, 16:9 aspect video, WAV and MP3 audio, an external microphone jack, offloadable storage and Wifi and Bluetooth.
The Nokia N8 is a phone that has all the requirements to be a good storytelling phone.
“Don’t let the tech drive the train here,” he said.
A lot of people get hyped, according to Northrup, but journalists still need to worry about basic storytelling elements instead of getting caught up in the hype of the technology. Journalists need to be trained to use the resources they are given to tell a story.
He then demonstrated the capabilities of the Nokia N8 by live streaming video on a website of this conference.