The Mobile Reporting Field Guide

The UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism has published a free e-book for reporters, that every communications delegate or public information officer should check out.

The “Mobile Reporting Field Guide” is written for anyone who wants to produce professional footage with only a minimum gear in their pockets and backpacks.

The two main parts of the guide are reviews of apps and gear. One thing I like particularly about the iBook version (a PDF is also available) that many reviews include video or sound samples showing why they liked or didn’t like a particular product. That way you can compare the sound quality of different microphones or see a screencast of how the different apps work.

Mobile Reporting Kit

Recommended hardware for reporters on the move.

The final chapter “The Kit” is a round-up of the most useful tools and includes “everything you would need to cover breaking news or conduct a two-person interview”. In the beginning I found this a bit confusing because you obviously don’t need all the items that are in the kit (who needs monopods and a tripod?). Rather it should be read as condensed “best of” summary of the “gear” chapter.

In short, the Mobile Reporting Field Guide is a great resource if you want to send people to the field, but don’t want to burden them down with a trunk full of stuff and it saves you the time to research hardware and software yourself. And of course it’s free, so what’s not to love?

Because of the interactive elements I recommend the iBook version over the PDF. You can download both from

Update, 12 August 2012: This blog post sparked quite a lively discussion on LinkedIn and there are two links I’d like to share:

  • Nathan Wilkinson has looked at the Kit and modified it according to feedback from the Humanitarian Communication group. You find the revised kit here.
  • Josh Tong is recomending Kenneth Kobre’s “Videojournalism: Multimedia Storytelling”, which according to Josh is written for “solo journalists, development officers, and other travellers who need to produce professional, low-budget videos on deadline. “

(h/t 10,000 words)

Do you know any resources that might be useful for communications delegates in the field? Please leave your tips below.

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