Portable Storytelling

Poynter.org reported today that St. Pete Times photographer Melissa Lyttle shot photos for the paper’s weekend magazine feature exclusively on her iPhone (see story here).

Lyttle makes an excellent point:

“The best camera is the one you have with you.”

This new acceptance of lower-quality material by newspapers has been coming for awhile, and it is probably the wave of the future. It isn’t the arduously reported, edited, and fine-tuned videos reporters post to the news site that garners thousands of hits; it’s the one taken by a police car camera of a crane falling on a car.

If journalism becomes more about being in the right place at the right time than offering quality information, we may be in trouble.

The Fort Myers News Press attempted to get its reporters into those fortuitous situations by creating a team of mobile journalists (mojos). This is obviously problematic for journalists who like producing quality work, but it certainly filled the paper.

Too bad Gannett isn’t doing so hot. Poynter.org reported that they have cut a total of about 1,200 jobs at its newspapers.

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