Throughout their profession, journalists rely on a vast range of technological devices. They can be as simple as a laptop, or as complex as a 360 camera, but can each contribute significantly to storytelling. Whether journalists are out in the field hunting down a story, or back in the office putting it together, technology usage can be key to excelling within this incredibly competitive industry.
Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, are increasingly becoming a favourite among journalists. With an ability to capture footage previously only accessible from helicopters, aeroplanes and satellites, drones are affordable, easy to use, and sky-rocketing in sales. They allow journalists access to incredible imagery, such as bushfires, floods, car chases and vast landscapes, providing a new perspective and an edge over others when it comes to delivering information.
Portable audio devices, such as the Zoom Handy Recorders, have made it easier for journalists to capture interviews – wherever, whenever. The small, lightweight devices are incredibly convenient and as they require no cables, can be whipped out and switched on within seconds. Although all smart phones tend to have a voice recording function, professional devices like the Zoom are of a much greater quality and far less temperamental. Journalists should always carry a portable recording device with them, so they can jump at the opportunity of an interview when one unexpectedly arises.
Both drones and portable audio devices have led to a rise in backpack journalism, and fewer journalists requiring support crews to shadow their every move. Freelance journalists, in particular, are harnessing the opportunity to work solo and develop their skills in reporting, photography, videography, producing and editing. As the media industry continues to struggle, this may be considered a step in the right direction, but in turn, could lead to higher levels of unemployment among camera and sound professionals.
As we continue to move further away from print journalism and rapidly towards online, technology usage will boom among journalists. In this day and age, it seems journalism’s best chance at survival.