Mobile Journalism Toolkit By Nokia And Reuters

The Mobile Journalism Toolkit is the result of a collaboration between cellphone giant Nokia and Reuters, the 160 year-old news organization.

(Nokia N95 Mobile Phone)

Reporters were given a hardware bundle calculated to carry them right into the future of news blogging. The package consisted of the following:

  • Nokia N95 mobile phone
  • Nokia SU-8W portable keyboard
  • Sony condenser mic with special N95 adapter
  • tripod
  • Two Power Monkey power stations, including the solar-capable Explorer, all of which linked into a custom mobile CMS that allows stories to be posted almost instantly.
  • Partnership with Comvu provided GPS-linked video streaming
  • Special software in the N95 that posts metadata about the story even as it's being filed.
Although this was a special trial, Reuters and Nokia plan to use the kits to teach journalism students and give help to the citizen journalism movement.

Science fiction writers have also thought about the future of journalism. Larry Niven, in his 1973 story Flash Crowd, wrote in detail about newstapers, people who were hired to film, report and file the news:

A lean young man with an open, curious, friendly face, topped by red-blond hair curly as cotton. A tiny mike at his lips, a small plug in one ear, a coin purse at his belt. In his hands, a heavy gyrostabilized TV camera equipped with a directional mike...
(Read more about Niven's newstaper gear)

John Varley, writing in his 1984 novel Steel Beach, took reporting to its logical extreme and beyond:

Call me old-fashioned. I'm the only reporter I know who still uses his handwriter except to take notes…I snapped the fingers of my left hand…Three rows of four colored dots appeared on the heel of my left hand. By pressing the dots in different combinations with my fingertips I was able to write the story in shorthand, and watch the loops and lines scrawl themselves on a strip of readout skin on my wrist...
(Read more about John Varley's handwriter)

Philip K. Dick's contribution was historically first, but he might have the last word; consider the autonomic interviewer:

"I'm afraid I only have a moment to talk to your viewers. Sorry." He started on, but the autonomic TV interviewer, camera in its hand, blocked his path. The metal smile of the creature glittered confidently...
(Read more about Dick's autonomic interviewer)

Via Engadget.

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