Thursday, November 10, 2011

Student journalists cover local elections with the iPad 2: Quick, clean, recommended

The video and still photo cameras on the iPad 2 made substantial contributions to our student journalists' local election coverage this week. In addition to our usual arsenal of digital tools*, we included an iPad 2 Wi-Fi unit, borrowed from the university library.

It made for relatively unobtrusive newsgathering, which led to timely slice-of-life video pieces. We've been covering video storytelling in class for the past month, so the concepts and hands-on experience with a prosumer HD camera transferred well to the iPad. Our goal was to shoot self-contained vignettes that we could send up to YouTube unedited.

In the morning test-run, we shot at the Lexington polling center, where Stephen Peck recorded this brief voting machine piece. We readily embedded it onto a story page, 'Inside the voting process.'

After the polls closed, Peck became the roving iPad producer, capturing video at election parties throughout the area. Here, he records reporter Diandra Spicak giving an update, which he quickly uploaded, and we tweeted and posted to our Facebook page.

Peck said he especially liked the ease of uploading video on location where Wi-Fi was available. Looking forward, we hope to add 3G units to our student journalists’ toolboxes, facilitating storytelling through technology.

*Our election newsgathering tools also included a JVC GY-HM100 HD video camera, Zoom H2 audio recorders, Canon A2200 for still photos, and reporters' notebooks and pens.

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