You should understand and experiment with the functions of your mobile phone. As we discuss in chapter one, there may be times when this is the only bit of kit you have available on which to file a story.
Here is some extra kit that can help:
We know journalists who have filed 500 word news stories using just a touch screen keyboard on an iPhone. It is certainly possible, but it can be very slow. There are many small, fold up, bluetooth keyboards which make it easier to type on a smartphone. Logitech is one of the main brands to look for.
An unlocked phone
The most important thing when out on a job is signal. In chapter one we recommend establishing where the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot is before you leave home. Most of the large coffee shop chains or fast food outlets offer this to customers. To find the best mobile signal you may wish to switch SIM cards to a different network provider. To do this you will need to make sure your phone is not locked to a single provider. Having an unlocked phone gives you the flexibility to switch providers, whether working at home in a remote location or abroad.
Extra battery power
Is there anything worse than losing mobile signal when out on a job? Yes! It’s running out of power. Some smartphones, such as those made by Samsung, allow you to remove the battery. It is possible to buy spare batteries with larger capacities on eBay. Thankfully, the latest versions of the iPhone have much improved battery life.
A tripod for your phone
Camera shake is a massive problem when shooting video or digital stills on a smartphone. However, Joby make a range of robust and lightweight tripods which it calls GorillaPods. The legs of the tripod cling to just about any stable object you can find on location…..fence, lamp post, tree etc…allowing you to shoot great video on your iPhone or Android device.
Dedication is what you need (sometimes)…
You’ll get better pictures on a dedicated digital stills SLR camera than on a smartphone. A digital dictaphone with external microphone will get better sound for interviews. A portable digital camcorder with external microphone will get better video. In short, sometimes convergence technology doesn’t generate the best results. We recommend some of the best kits in the chapters on audio and video.
However, it is worth downloading the latest apps from your smartphone’s app store.
To keep up to date with the latest trends, kit reviews and apps we recommend bookmarking these useful tech news sites: