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The multimedia journalist’s best friend

Published Sept. 9, 2012, 11:32 p.m. PHT

Last updated May 29, 2013, 11 a.m. PHT

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Using the iPhone for digital newsgathering

Using the iPhone for digital newsgathering

Jeric Pena Reports won’t be possible without my iPhone. My iPhone is not just a phone; it is a great digital newsgathering tool.

I consider it my best friend especially when I’m out covering stories. It is my mobile newsroom. It is perfect for multimedia or backpack journalists. It’s light and small, but it’s powerful. With the iPhone, I can take photos and videos, surf the web and even dispatch or file stories while I’m on-the-go. In fact, several stories that I’ve published here were shot using my iPhone.

Here are some of the reasons why I consider the iPhone as the multimedia journalist’s best friend:

iPhone Camera

iPhone 4S has a great 8-megapixel camera that shoots 1080p HD videos. The camera works great out of the box. But the built-in microphone is basically useless when using the iPhone for newsgathering. When coming up with news packages, it is important to have good video and good audio, hence I plug-in an external microphone into iPhone when shooting.

For my “Transit of Venus” news package, I used my iPhone to shoot everything—from the B-roll to the man-on-the-street interviews.

With the iPhone 4S, I can also shoot decent-looking photos that I can use to complement my tweets and articles.

UP remembers Robredo

SHOT USING AN IPHONE. Flags fly at half-staff at the the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, to honor the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo. Robredo, along with two pilots, died in a plane crash Saturday, Aug. 18. (JPR/Jeric Pena)

Filing Stories On-the-go

The iPhone allows me to file or dispatch stories on-the-go. I usually update my Twitter page whenever I cover stories. I also live-tweet the events that I’m covering. With the iPhone, I can easily add photos into my tweets.

Upon arriving at my “newsroom,” I collate my social media updates using Storify. I also embed my Storify stories on this site. For an example, you can read my report “UP remembers Robredo.”

Doing Phone Interviews

I also use my iPhone to conduct phone interviews. I usually plug my iPhone into a mixer so that I can record the phone conversation. You may listen to my report “Everything OK in Intramuros, NGO says” for an example.

There are so many things that one can do with an iPhone. But for me, the iPhone is a perfect smartphone for multimedia or backpack journalists.

And just in case you’re wondering, this isn’t a paid post.



  • http://www.facebook.com/sainzpj Pablo Jaime Sáinz

    Jeric thank you so much for sharing how you use your iPhone for news gathering. I’m a freelance journalist in San Diego, California, and I just ordered the iPhone 5, my first iPhone ever. You just gave me a ton of ideas and tips on how to use the iPhone in my job. I’m sure the iPhone will pay for itself within a week if I apply your suggestions! Thanks, man! Pablo

    • http://www.jericpena.com/ Jeric Pena

      Pablo, I’m sure you’ll love your iPhone. One of the reasons why I bought one is to use it for news gathering. And it’s doing a great job.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jmtuazon J.m. Tuazon

    Hi, Jeric! I was wondering if you could point me to the right direction of where you bought the adapter so you could connect an external microphone to your iPhone? Thanks very much!

    Wonderful post, by the way ;)