Are Smartphones Taking Over the News?

You ever film a video with your iPhone?

You ever get annoyed because for some inexplicable reason, the video is always cropped to be vertical even though you wanted to film it horizontally? And the more you watch it, the more you realize that the quality is grainy and you can’t hear the audio that well?

Look, I don’t even like posting my own amateur iPhone videos on Facebook, and I have less than 200 friends so my embarrassment is never too epic. However, the Swiss TV station Léman Bleu has no such qualms and has recently announced that they will be equipping their reporters with iPhone 6 kits — and ditching all traditional cameras and cameramen in the field. Just iPhones. Laurent Keller, the station’s news director, told reporters that the switch is the result of “a search for lightness and responsiveness”.

Oh, and to reduce costs, obviously.

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Although I’m not so sure how much money will be saved.

Keller is optimistic about the future use of iPhones and claims reporters will be increasingly mobile and thus be able to gather more content. Additionally, the iPhone format will make it easier to upload their content online. Average citizens already have their amateur footage used in news stories so journalists might as well get on the game themselves.

While I’m sure employees at Léman Bleu are excited because “Hey, free iPhone from work!” isn’t anybody worried about if there will be a decrease in quality? A U.S. Fox station attempted to make the switch to iPhone-based journalism, but reverted to traditional format after being “plagued by technical problems and relying on journalists with little experience.”

Do they mean kids fresh out of college who knew their way around a smartphone but couldn’t write decent copy or the old timers who are still figuring out how to take a darn picture?

“How do I turn this thing on again?”

I wonder what Aaron Sorkin would have to say about this if The Newsroom was still on. Hey, it might not even be called The Newsroom anymore. It would just be Jeff Daniels and the rest of the cast sitting a room quietly texting each other updates about their news stories.

And it will sweep the Emmys.

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Susan Velazquez

Susan is a recent college grad and writer who enjoys all things from the 1980s, snarking on dumb television, and reveling in celebrity gossip. Oh, and she has serious interests like reading historical fiction, getting involved in social issues, and consuming French fries.

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