Blogging the News

Mobile Reporting

October 22, 2014 Written by | No Comments

Journalistic blogs need interactivity so it is important to add multimedia to your posts. On a very basic level, this involves photos, audio and video. All these features are easily captured using a smartphone.

The Journalism Department has a fantastic online resource site covering many aspects of multimedia journalism that you will find very useful.


Another great resource is a blog by journalist Neil Augenstein. It has guides, tutorials and tips.


Using the built-in camera on your phone will give you good quality photos that you can easily use on your blog.

If you want to edit them on your smartphone, I suggest an app called Snapseed. It’s free for iPhone use and allows you to brighten, sharpen, crop among other editing moves. I know professional photographers who use this. It’s also available for Android phones through Google Play.

Snapseed tutorial:

Here’s a great tutorial taking better photos:

Fundamentals of Composition

You can also build photo slideshows that combine images and text. I very simple application is Google Presentations.

Here is a tutorial:

Creating and Posting a Photo Slideshow

Or create a slideshow using Flickr

Making Flickr Slideshows and Embedding Them in WordPress


Including audio clips from interviews or performances or music to augment a report is very effective.

For iPhone, there is a free, usually built-in app called Voice Memo. Once you have the recordings, this app allows you to email yourself the files.

From there, you can download them to your computer and edit using desktop software such as Garageband on Apple computers or Audacity, a free downloadable audio editing software for Macs or PCs.

Here are some tutorials:

Audacity tutorial:

Editing Audio With Audacity

Garageband tutorials:

GarageBand Tutorial for Podcast Editing

Editing Audio in GarageBand

Once your podcast is edited, export it out of program as an MP3 file, then upload it to SoundCloud, a hosting site for audio. This will provide iframe coding to embed into your post.

SoundCloud tutorial:

Using SoundCloud

Another great app for audio is Audioboom. This app will let you upload an audio clip (not an edited report) together with a photo and embed that into your post.

For more sophisticated, track editing of audio try an app called Voddio. This, too, is an app used by professional broadcast journalists to report from the field. You can download the app for free, but if you want to share your files anywhere, it will cost you $9.99. It could be worth the investment for someone who’s familiar with audio editing and wants to work on mobile editing.

Tutorial of audio editing with Voddio:


Video shot with the built-in camera is good quality. One important tip: always shoot your video holding the phone in the horizontal position. Otherwise you’ll get a narrow strip of video with black spaces on either side. The horizontal position allows you to shoot video that fills the screen.

I see two main categories here. The first is posting quick clips, not necessarily edited into a package, using social media sites readily available to you. Once posted to these sites, the videos can be embedded into your WordPress post.

Instagram now allows you to post up to 15 seconds of video to its site. This can add a nice splash of interactivity to a post if used wisely.

Here’s a description of Instagram’s video feature:

And instructions for embedding it into WordPress:

Instagram Embeds

Second option like this is Vine. Six seconds might not seem like a lot but sometimes it can add depth to a blog post.

The next category is using more sophisticated apps to actually edit a video package on your phone.

Voddio again seems to be the app that many journalists are using. I experimented with it a little and there is a learning curve even for someone who has done editing on other programs. But, for those of you who want to do more video, this is a good one to master.

The company has a whole channel of training videos:

Voddio is by no means the only option for video editing on your smartphone. Here are few others. They all have a price.

iMovie for iPhone, $4.99

Tout, looks like a popular video platform. I’m waiting to get a demo to try it out.

Splice, $1.99

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