These days, everyone from your 12 year old cousin to your 79 year old grandma has smart phones. Gone are the days of carrying around a camera, having to wait until you were home to upload the photos. It is estimated that almost two billion people now own a smart phone. With each upgrade the technology behind iPhones, androids and Google phones are becoming more and more advanced. Meaning that users are able to record and upload at the click of a button, any place, any time.
In London 2005 a bomb exploded. It destroyed three underground trains and a bus, killed 56 people, and injured over 700. Immediately after the crisis footage and images began to emerge online from people who were at the scene of the crime.
Images such as this filled the news media. Images that had been all shot by people who just happened to be at the site where the attacks occurred.
Nowadays it is not uncommon to see Smartphone footage or images in news bulletins. Citizen journalists have become a regular feature in the way breaking news is shared. Anyone can bear witness to anything, all because of the smartphone technology that is now available.
But it isn’t just “citizen journalists” utilising these tools.
Take this video for example:
Notice anything different?
A few years ago the BBC put on a workshop with over 1200 journalists on how to tell a story effectively using just an iPhone. This video, by journalist Philip Bromwell was shot entirely with an iPhone 5s.
In a time where cuts to newsroom budgets are growing more and more common, shooting footage on an smartphone is not only time effective, but cost effective too. The quality of the footage is not reduced, and journalists are still able to cover what needs to be covered.