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Broadcasting from a bivouac

11 August 2012
Broadcasting from a bivouac

Mobile phones and social media are changing the journalistic landscape and therefore the technological requirements of the job, according to Inmarsat.

With smartphones making up 30% of all the phones shipped last year, many people have more technology in their pocket than most journalists had just a decade ago, stated Martin Turner, director of media business at Inmarsat.

He commented: “Combined with social media and the 24 hour news cycle, the result has been a revolution in the news industry. We are witnessing the great democratisation of the media. The advent of citizen journalism has turned the audience from consumer into competitor. And it’s usually far easier for a member of the public to upload a video to YouTube than it is for the news media to broadcast it.”

Turner stated that in this new market, journalists face the challenge of making sense of the flood of available information regardless of where they are. He said this means extending the newsroom into the field so they have access to the latest information and intelligence about the story, and also providing the capability to mount more sophisticated productions in the field when the story merits it.

“A single mobile satellite terminal that requires no expert knowledge to use provides the connectivity that the news media needs, wherever the story is,” explained Turner. “It can be used for simple live and recorded contributions or it can be the hub around which more complex broadcasts are built. It can enable new collaborative workflows that tapeless formats have introduced and create a Wi-Fi cloud that services an entire team.

“Higher data rates will continue to transform the quality of live video from the field and connectivity for those working there. And as Ka-band offerings come online, broadcasters will benefit from unprecedented bandwidth, coverage and flexibility. The news industry is changing. And so is the communications technology on which broadcasters depend,” concluded Turner. – Heather McLean

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