There is no question about the importance of the mobile phone in today’s practice of journalism, especially in what has been now the “in” thing – a converged newsroom.
Mobile phones make the life of a journalist easy. One can take pictures, video, write and send stories, and talk to one’s editor or even engage one’s readers.
I vote that mobile phones be the primary tool for reporting for journalists in a converged newsroom, not only for distributing news to consumers, but also in all aspects of reporting a story.
But it does not mean that journalists should solely rely on their mobile gadgets to get a story.
Let me emphasize that there is no substitute to a face-to-face interview, to dirtying oneself in the field and smelling the fresh flowers in the middle of the forest when one is on an assignment.
Journalists should remember that the gadgets they have are just tools. What is important is the reporter’s clear understanding of issues he or she covers, the heart for the story and the willingness to go out and be with the source, be they politicians, businessmen, guerrillas, or the men, women or children on the streets of the city or of far-flung villages.
Mobile phones are important tools in doing journalism, but journalists should keep in mind that tools do not make journalists.
Should mobile phones be the primary reporting tool in a converged newsroom?
Yes, I have no doubt about it, but added to that are the other requirements and attitude in doing good journalism.