Periscope is an innovative and engaging app journalists can use to break a story. I decided an event that was only open for a week in Melbourne would be useful to cover – it would allow people who were not physically able to visit the exhibition, to see the action and content online.
However, Periscope had multiple challenges. One, the audio and video quality (720 pixels) was clearly not as high as a professional broadcast, and therefore viewers did not get a particularly good view of the photographs on display. Secondly, if I were to livestream the experience the Periscope broadcast would have been well over an hour long, meaning viewers would be unlikely to watch until the end. Therefore, I had to stop and start my broadcast, and then put each individual clip together using iMovie.
What I learnt? Periscope is better suited for a rally or larger event where there is a wide scope and lots of things going on. Attempting to Periscope small, detailed images was hard! I found myself having to zoom up to capture an image, and my hands were very shaky attempting to capture the entire photographs.
Unfortunately, when using a live broadcast you don’t have the luxury of being able to go back and do it all again; it would defeat the purpose of it being live! However, if I were to cover the event again I would have attempted to place my iPhone on some sort of tripod or flat surface – when using a hand-held device, I often forgot people may be using this as a legitimate source of news, therefore the quality has to be high! A microphone would have also been a great investment, as my voice often got lost with the outside sounds. Additionally, statistics show online news video is less of a force than publishers had hoped. The Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report in 2016 noted only about a ¼ of 50 000 respondents across 26 countries watch online news video in a given week. Therefore, for now at least, perhaps a news story is best broken in a regular text either online or in print.
In order for people to use Periscope to watch breaking news I believe improvements need to be made. Mainly video quality and getting the average consumer to use Periscope for news. However, as Walkey’s CEO Jacqui Park says, we will only get this from experimenting. “We’ll do well to ask what can we learn and take from each of these (new journalism),” she said.