New media proponent Jeff Jarvis claims that camera phones are not only a useful device for papers to get user-generated photos, but are in fact “the new tool of the journalist's trade.”
Among the traditional media organizations to use camera phones, Reuters' mobile journalist project is to equip reporters with Nokia N82 phones.
The devices are kitted with a wireless keyboard, a miniature tripod, a solar battery and a small microphone – along with all the relevant software to edit and publish multimedia content.
The portability and discreet look of all-in-one devices, apart from their practicality, also change the relationship between journalists and interviewees:
“And there is the first fundamental change brought on by the mojo phone: It's small, unobtrusive, unthreatening. You don't feel as if you're talking to a camera and, in turn, to thousands or millions online,” wrote Jarvis.
Secondly, these new generation mobile devices change the entire approach to a journalistic story: many formerly written articles and bits of information can now be uploaded as video clips in a few clicks, whether to complement a story or stand-alone.
“The other significant effect the mojo camera has had on journalism is a difference in how video is used in telling stories. I felt no need to produce a piece or write a story to surround the Davos clips. The snippet was sufficient. I can also see using such video clips as part of larger stories.”
For newspapers with limited budgets, Jarvis recommends the $110 Flip Video, which can records 30min of video and upload it straight to YouTube via a PC.