Reuters and the Nokia Research Center have announced that they are working on a joint project to enable journalists to file and publish stories and multimedia news content from handheld devices instead of computers. Called Reuters Mobile Journalism, the initiative relies upon connecting peripherals to Nokia's high-end N95 device--a Bluetooth-enabled keyboard, a small tripod for video interviews, and a microphone that can plug into the mobile handset--as well as software to make it easier to put together text, images and streaming media.
"By running on handheld devices, rather than on bulkier laptop computers, the mobile journalism application enables us to create complete stories and file them for distribution, without leaving the scene," Nic Fulton, chief scientist of Reuters Media, said in a statement from the two companies. "This saves us time and benefits our audience by ensuring that they receive high quality news that is absolutely up-to-date."
It would also, of course, require that the reporter in question be equipped with an N95 handset.
Over the summer, Reuters ran trials of mobile journalism in situations as varied as the U.S. presidential primary campaign events, the Edinburgh TV festival and New York Fashion Week, where stories were filed from the field. Currently, the plan is to make the finished product available to professional journalists, but a number of university students will be used for a trial run to see how the "toolkit" fits into the ever-growing citizen journalism niche.