iDiscover iPhone Apps for on-the-road Journos

As this unit constantly reminds us, a journalist today would not function without modern Web 2.0 technology.

This week in the Online Journalism lecture Marissa Calligeros, Breaking News reporter for the Brisbane Times, enlightened us with the tools of the trade that she uses in her day-to-day role as a journalist.

Surprisingly, Marissa’s very first recommendation was for all up-and-coming journalists to learn shorthand, which Online Journalism student Taylor Bunnag talks about in his blog.

However, her main focus for the lecture was on the technology that on-the-road journo’s would not be able to live without. Marissa made it clear that her iPhone is her life when it comes to work. She spoke about the iPhone apps, Evernote, Qik, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Gabberface and how she, as a journalist, uses them.  listed the ’22 tools and apps every journalism student should know about’ and the top 10 were:

1. Twitter

2. Hootsuit/Tweetdeck

3. WordPress

4. Tumblr

5. Storify

6. SoundCloud

7. Audioboo

8. Scribblelive

9. Ocqur new free live blogging platform

10. Pocket

But I also think that:

11. Evernote

12. Dropbox

13. Google Docs

Are just as important.

Because most people already know how Facebook and Instagram work I thought I would check out the other apps Evernote and Qik, that Marissa spoke about, and give you my lowdown on how they work.


This app can be used for writing stories whilst out in the field and can then be instantly shared via email, Twitter and Facebook. Every time you click to add a ‘note’ you can write text and add a picture or record audio to the ‘note’. Every ‘note’ is then time, date and geographically stamped and can be added to either personal or shared ‘notebooks’. If you had a ‘shared notebook’ with your news organisation or your editor they would be able to instantly and directly recieve your stories whilst you are reporting in the field. But you, as the journalist, can also publish your stories straight to either your news organisations social networking site or website.

This is where you can look at your shared or personal notebooks

This is a note. Journalists can write stories in here and then add images and sound and upload straight to social networking sites.


As Marissa told us Qik is a great app for sharing amateur video material. Here is an example of an amateur video shot by Marissa while on the scene of a fatal car accident

As she noted, having the highest or best video quality is not always important. The rawness of the video makes viewers feel as though they are actually at the scene. I think raw footage provides viewers with a better understanding of what is happening and what the event feels like as well as what it look likes. Often we become desensitised from our continuous exposure to television news footage.

Qik gives you the option to record LIVE, which is great for events or accidents that you want to stream live footage of directly onto your news website or social media site. After you have recorded footage you are given the option to edit it, make it private, send video mail, post to Facebook, Twitter or upload onto YouTube as well as share the link via email or SMS. Once you have recorded audio-visual material on Qik anyone you are connected with can view the video and you are also given the option to video call or video mail with other users.

As an example I recorded some footage on my iPhone and uploaded it directly to YouTube.


Graham Cairns also spoke about the use of the SoundCloud app as a useful journalistic tool for recording and sharing audio material.

After making several recordings with SoundCloud it gave me the option to share the recordings on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare or Tumblr as you can see in the picture below.

SoundCloud also allows you to follow other users and listen to their recordings. At the moment I am following The Times, CNN, A way with Words, Justin Timberlake and Hamish and Andy. But you can follow anyone with SoundCloud, similar to Twitter.

SoundCloud is a great app for journalists who want to record an interview and upload it straight to their news organisation’s Twitter, Facebook or even to their own SoundCloud page. For those journalists with blogging sites they can also upload an interview straight to their Tumblr blog.

After you have recorded a sound this is the screen that comes up and you are able to share your sound recording instantly onto social networking sites.

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